This selection, chosen by guest editor Amber Alexander, is from Stained: An Anthology of Writing About Menstruation, curated and edited by Rachel Neve-Midbar & Jennifer Saunders, released by Querencia Press in 2023.
The Devil Shows You How to Use a Tampon
by Megan Mary Moore
The first time you bleed, the Devil comes to see. She knows life can find a room in you and that scares Mom, Dad, and every boy you’ve met. But not her. She sits on the edge of the tub, not there to convince, but advise. And as your fingernails grow redder she warns you, they blame blood for ghosts. When you leave this bathroom, the burden is on you. And after she shows you how to push, press, and pull inside yourself, she grabs your daisy print panties from the ground, throws them in the trash and tells you to wash the last bit of sidewalk chalk from your hands.
Megan Mary Moore holds an MFA in poetry from Miami University. She is the author of To Daughter a Devil (Unsolicited Press, 2023) Dwellers (Unsolicited Press, 2019) and her work has appeared in Rattle, Grist, and Contemporary Verse 2. She lives in Cincinnati where she frequently dresses like a fairy princess, watches too many horror movies, and writes poems about things that scare her.
Poet, essayist, and translator Rachel Neve-Midbar‘s collection Salaam of Birds (Tebot Bach, 2020) was chosen by Dorothy Barresi for the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize. She is also the author of the chapbook What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach, 2014), winner of The Clockwork Prize. Rachel’s work has appeared in journals such as Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Grist, and The Georgia Review as well as other publications and anthologies. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California where her research concerns menstruation in contemporary poetry.
Jennifer Saunders is the author of Self-Portrait with Housewife (Tebot Bach, 2019), winner of the 2017 Clockwise Chapbook Competition. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Glass, Spillway, The Shallow Ends, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere, and has earned nominations for Best of the Net, The Pushcart Prize, and the Orison Anthology. Jennifer holds an MFA from Pacific University, and lives in German-speaking Switzerland.
Amber Alexander, who publishes creative work as e. holloway, is a poet based in Ohio. They currently work in higher education and as an Assistant Editor for Best Of The Net within Sundress Publications. Alexander is a former Editorial Intern for Sundress Publications, former Editorial Board Member for Cornfield Review, and was a Sundress Academy for The Arts Writing Resident in 2023. Their work has been published by Cornfield Review and earned multiple awards during undergrad at The Ohio State University.
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