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Sarah Westcott

How you peered into the weave of your pants,

sitting on the metal C of the school toilet,

spreading the gusset, searching

for bright red dots, splodges, Rorschach faces,

unequivocal as poppies.


How, when it came, it came

slowly, confusingly,

brown as silt, thick and viscous, a smear

like a mark of mud on your forehead.


How you swooned

from the clanging cubicle,

your secret pressed between your legs,

tossed your hair as you overtook

scrums of oblivious boys.


From 14 No 11 (Feb 2011)