Blood Paintings Series
Still I've said: motherhood is not for me.
And my own mother has cringed, thinking
of how she has tied her whole life
around that role. She is imagining
grandchildren and I am imagining forests.
I have seen the housecat, mewing,
gnawing kittens hang from her breasts —
clinging and needing. Trapped,
I have seen her disgust.
I still do not understand why our bodies
count the same rhythms as the moons
but I have learned to think of these,
the blood paintings on the pales
of my thighs, as a map
of where my body has been.
And when finally my body opened,
after years of not knowing
if it would know how to take it,
the blood ran freely down
to pool neatly near the knees.
The whole place reeked of red,
reeked of my trauma. It ran in rivers
along the floorboards of our apartment,
leading from room to room.
The wind doesn't howl, it moans
like a body satisfied. And all winter
this house has been ready to burst
with the obscene sound of it.
We look away.
We know only the terse civility
of our brief exchanges, coming or
going through the slick metal shame
of the front door. Every morning the same
arguments: sex, the lack of it, the weather
in the adjoining rooms. Our accusations
linger in the kitchen, cling to the damp
towels and watch us, a rankled cat,
as we burn logs to heat the home.
Kait Mauro was born in Pittsburgh and currently lives in Saint Louis. She spends her days making art, watering her apartment garden, reading obsessively and trying to figure out what comes next and how to like it.