Good Housekeeping

Melissa Broder

Red was coming through the walls.
Red dribbled on the carpet.
The damask used to be black.
I asked Kate if she'd gotten
her menses on the carpet.
None of this was her doing.
She was sick of my attitude.
Her friend Audre would come over
to tell me I was awful.
How materialistic.
They'd revoke my Sappho card.
Save it, sister, save it
for Susan B. Anthony.
She’ll be the judge of menses.
She’ll be the judge of carpets.

Served me right about the house.
It was done in mother's style.
Now it was a Jell-O mold
cherry with floating fruit.
I preferred lime with heavy cream
or apricot with Kir Royale.
I couldn't make anything float.
I couldn’t make anything boil.
I'd been seeing boys on the sly
but only to test them with forks
never to coagulate.
Was it all my undoing?
How awful I thought I was
it dribbled on the carpet
it was coming through the walls.

Melissa Broder is the author of WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER (Ampersand Books; 2010). She is the chief editor of La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series at CakeShop. Her poems appear in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Swink, Five Dials and PANK.