[ Yes, I sometimes dry my underwear outside, but does that mean everything in this poem is true? ]
When it’s not raining, I dry my underwear
out on the balcony so my dear friends
slaving in the bank and the lawyer’s office
next door can understand
that we don’t always wear lingerie.
It’s my contribution to some feminist movement.
I’m flying the flag of my purple cotton underwear
printed with turtles and bumblebees.
Friends, I pray your bifocals be sharp enough
to appreciate the bottom pair which
have been irreparably stained
by me and my period this week.
It came in full force gale style–
All the happy lemons
are blotted out by inky iron-brown.
There are sports bras too,
five years old and sagging from
being charged with the ridiculous idea
of holding my body together
in a semblance of normal.
Normal is not real.
I can remember the lightness of being a kid
my secret candy bar collection
stashed in my closet
rows of Almond Joy, M&Ms,
and Kit Kats on the carpet.
I only let the good people in
to run their greedy hands
across the sweet smooth treasures.
Now twenty-two, in morning,
I sit in my kitchen tracing the edges
of my laced bra under silk blouse,
sipping peppermint tea, still,
drunk on my power to reveal or keep hidden.