There are only three remedies in your pharmacy:
walk it off, sleep it off, and suck it up.
No ibuprofen or bromelain. No herbal teas.
Don’t even mention homeopathy.
So nights when phantom cat claws
made a scratching post of my womb,
I rolled out of bed and breathed shallowly
on the hardwood floor until the blood
found a comfortable rhythm.
I could have woken you or cried out.
You should have, you said. You said
I should see a doctor. Your remedies
weren’t strong enough for me. No—
I wasn’t strong enough for them.
Rita Feinstein is the author of the poetry chapbook Life on Dodge (Brain Mill Press, 2018). Her work has appeared in Grist, Willow Springs, and Sugar House, among other publications, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She received her MFA from Oregon State University. Twitter handle: @RitaFeinsteinAlex DiFrancesco is a multi-genre writer who has published work in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The New Ohio Review, Brevity and more. In 2019, they published their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their novel All City (Seven Stories Press), which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards. Their short story collection Transmutation (Seven Stories Press) is forthcoming in 2021. They are the recipient of grants and fellowships from PEN America and Sundress Academy for the Arts. They are an assistant editor at Sundress Publications.
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