The month wanes. Soon my mother will make sure
I swallow three shredded dates daily, for the blood of me.
I say: no can’t you see it’s a chore to dig them out, tongue on teeth.
And she says: no you must,
for the blood of you
and the good of me.
So go out now and get those dates before you need to always sleep,
before the blood comes and you’re always sleeping so I don’t ask you to do the laundry.
I slide my silver self out of the garage and press my wheel to the road’s shapeless ruts.
The car-body swivels & the car-body creaks in symphony with the sound of me.
I make the car move like the muscle of my premenstrual pain.
I make the mind mint a hero of me.
Great Deliverer of Dates. Bloody me.
I park crooked at the Harris Teeter like a tossed craft ribbon
and ride on in to the new rot on the produce stocks. The dates are in
clear, circular ships atop expired SALE signs.
Deglet Noor. Born neat, like closed comb jellies.
They sit in the dark of themselves, soon to meet the dark of me.
I consider swallowing a whole box to hold me down for the week,
iron upon iron striking flint to
spark light in me.
I buy them and the cashier prints a date coupon.
We exchange a card and our hands don’t touch.
At home I offer my mother the coupon,
which she tells me to keep because it would be
prudent of me, for the blood of me.
I tape it on the dashboard of the car under the husk of a dead pillbug.
Later, in the bathroom mirror I name my sharp teeth.
in the kitchen dark
I introduce a fruit to the rapture of my plum-brown mouth,
counting down the dates.
Image: Photo by Kut, via rawpixel.com