Rushing away from the heart, like our love, a steady evacuation of the essential.

So much blood I bled in the course of a day, one month, one egg, each life ushered out on coattails and trails through my life-giving orifices.

Fire, flood, or blood, these will be the only cues to contact me.

So much blood, she kept coloring red, red is your favorite color, mommy; it’s red like a bleeding sky.

So much blood is emptied, an echo chamber on our screens, we can repeat and repeat the fine mesh between life and death preceded by the sounds some of us know from movies, or from the sidewalk: bang bang.

Sweet Robin, a child of leukemia, how can you clean the body when blood is the disease, sickness became the pulse of the family, fear became the board game we sat down to nightly.

He asked why I bled, I said I may again be a virgin, I may be a parcel of vapor regrouping at the touch. I smoke to see something rise around me.

So much blood my body moves, like my girl, she is my only blood, and I may be the one to move out of her. She may never forgive me, her mother blood, she will navigate each way she is wronged by love.


STELLA PADNOS is a poet, social worker, mama, and Scorpio. Her poetry appears in various literary journals, anthologies, and forums, including Women’s Studies Quarterly, Mommikin, and Lady Parts; a Barbie-themed online collaboration. Stella works as a therapist in New York City. Her debut collection of poetry, In My Absence, was released in summer 2016 from Winter Goose Publishing. She enjoys writing about ambivalence, attractions, and general emotional discomfort.