Sophia Holtz

Period Piece

I'd really like an emoji for getting my period.
One for oh fuck do I even have any tampons in my house
a string of emoji for standing on line
at the drug store, box of tampons in hand, 
getting to the cash register & wanting to ask
why do tampons cost so much anyway
when it's just cotton bunched into the shape
of a little white hyphen, but I don't
& here is where I tell you about
what my fallopian tubes
have to say about punctuation
which is nothing
we’re talking about organs
no, not like the instrument
I mean a megaphone on the siren setting,
a newspaper where each headline is your body.
I never wanted to talk about my period
because I thought it meant I was going to start
writing poems about the moon & goddesses
& moon goddesses & sailor moon
—which is fine but that's not all of us.
I’m mud & root like no drought, good mess.
I was going to use the word cunt
somewhere in this poem but I pussied out.
I was going to talk about how I want
my tampons encrusted with flashing lights
so everyone knows I’m carrying one.
I want to tell you I like my period best
when it tells me about absence
but instead: so sick I can barely stand,
my whole me a dull bell, doubled over.
I think of every pill I’ve ever taken.
I think of my grandmother,
who had so many moons in her uterus,
the doctors cut it out of her. I never wanted
to write about my period
because being a woman is not about
what organs I do or do not have.
It’s more like being
a multiverse than a moon.
Let’s get the fuck out of orbit.
I’d really like a photograph
of everything in the world that's a red mess—
a big blood hieroglyphic.
I really want you to be grossed out by this.



hello. outside a telephone conversation where 
both people say can you hear me? what

does it mean that I wake up at the same time
every night. no new noises outside. no new lights. 
the dogwoods shedding petals down

everywhere. now we communicate in bursts.
get out. a girl writes “bye” on a sign, holds it up.
I'm not friendly. we're in this room together

but no one's talking. no one. on the train more people 
to not look at. I return home and wrap myself
in sheets. my roommate won't stop brushing his teeth. 

it's warm now so the insects will arrive. in the future 
flies the size of toasters will live in all of our trash. 
they will replace public transportation and people. 

hello. I must be dehydrated. I'm turning into a desert 
right before your eyes. I'm redder than a fruit allergy. 
the whole planet's allergic to me. everything around us

is going to turn into a sticky trap.
can you hear this? get out. bye.



Sophia Holtz is a writer, illustrator, and performer. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, decomP, H_NGM_N, glitterMOB, and other journals. She received her MFA from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Writing Fellow. Born and raised in New York, she currently lives in Boston.