Subterfuge – Amy Baskin

stained cloth gusset lined with cotton
traces of lace grace the front face
and flowers so many flowers purple
and pink concealed by the flow no—
the flood of an unexpected collapse of
uterine lining early or late its timing
had slipped off the calendar gone unnoticed
now the search for supplies begins
the furtive quest the bleeding heroine’s
journey to escape the attentions of
every major and minor player in this
chapter of her story the dispenser
appears loaded but she has no spare change in
her pockets no will to ask for a loan
because lending grants permission
to ask questions gain answers and
access to classified intelligence so
plan b is to ascertain the degree of the
leak and the damage done from the blackish
burgundy endometrial tide that reeks of dead
fish washed up on a sultry June beach
fold and wad one-ply toilet paper into a
makeshift pad remove sweatshirt and tie
sleeves securely around waist ward
off the urge to slink back to trig unnoticed
they will see through attempts at stealth
coldly calculate that strutting in late
reeking of Marlboro Reds provides the
necessary smokescreen to remain undetected.
Amy Baskin

Amy Baskin writes poetry, stories, picture books and non-fiction. Her work is currently featured in NonBinary Review, Sein Und Werden, The Gorge Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Random Poem Tree, and Mothers Always Write and is forthcoming in McGraw-Hill Big Books. She’s had the pleasure of working on the revision process with Oregon’s former poet laureate Paulann Petersen, and participated in an online sonnet critique group with Allison Joseph.