My Menstrual Cup Will Outlast Us All

Two poems by Anna Lena Phillips Bell

My Menstrual Cup Will Outlast Us All

Blood Cup

Shape of a shape,
foldable up
and able, in,
to open out,
stay put, collect,
beyond my notice, 
riches I have no
further use of. 
Latex or plastic 
echo of cervix, 
funnel without 
an exit; held up, 
a wine glass without 
a stem but with 
the wine-dark end 
of an egg within. 
Each month, washed,
scalded clean, ready				
to capture the swell
and wane of me. Ten
years, one lasted,
of stable yet suspect
silicone, till 
I overboiled it—
its modest, purposeful 
self safe 
on the shelf and in 
again, ad in-
finitum, I’d thought,
reminded only
then that infinities,
too, end.

Instructions for Escape

For everyone it will be different. Bend
time to your will, bend your will
to the bitter need. Bite down
hard, tear through. So 
I’ve heard, another 
way is to cede: 
open your face 
upward, 
allow
rain, 
bright
light, too 
bright to see 
through but see 
through it, let it 
edge you into an expanse 
you hadn’t known and knew,
even if rusty, even if ill at ease 
with ease, realizing, realized, there for 
the living. It’s yours. You’re its. Breathe.

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