Blueprint for a Home Without Tampons | Mary Maroste
Mary Maroste is a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in Creative Writing and Communication Studies. Some of her favorite activities are reading about animals and riding bikes. Her work has been featured in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Winter Tangerine, 3288 Review, Great Lakes Review, and others. Her first chapbook Blueprint for a Home Without Tampons was published by dancing girl press. She is from the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan but currently resides and studies in Kalamazoo.
Landscape with a Bridge that Doesn’t Reach the Other Side
My voice was clearer
before I washed my hands after sex
& lost sleep over the color of my thong.
Thinking of my brother
I drew mouths on all of my scars & stared at them for hours –
tried to cook a normal meal,
merlot colored circles under my eyes.
Instead, I invented a machine to measure worth
based on caterpillars saved from the road,
pubic hair & clean sheets.
My voice was gentler
before I decorated my home with stones
& arrows carved from my parents bed frame.
I forgot how to sleep with both legs under my blanket
& covered my porch in fountains of children
spitting water into each other’s mouths,
hoping they would stop me
from locking my door 14 times every night
& marking my ankles
every time my clothes were removed for an ordinary person.
My voice wasn’t nervous
before I blacked out on a grey couch without cushions
& woke up thinking about the aloe vera on my window sill,
an erection pushing against my back.
I thought it was my fault,
I hugged pictures of myself from 8th grade, promised to tell my mother,
ate salt on everything, covered my shoulders in public –
nothing was enough –
my head filled with pebbles
& I started spending my nights in the kitchen cabinets.