It Started at Age 13
(Joanna’s Little Secret)
The index finger and the middle thrust deep
Inside, past knuckles wet with spit.
Her eyes tear.
Into the clear water the dog uses
As his drinking fountain. Her inadequacies
Brought to the surface with
Each convulsion. A virtual rainbow,
The colors of the interminglings–
Roughage and sugar– resurface from within.
Usually twice through a day. It doesn’t
take long. Her absence is
Commended as impeccable hygiene–water
Always running. When it is over and she
Has brushed her teeth, red marks
Linger where the skin had been
Pulled back. A reflection in the mirror
Of a woman–free
Again from the digressions of the
Female spirit, purging different
Problems than adolescence in the same way.
The acid taste remains.