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POETRY

by

Bob Slaymaker




MENSTRUATION
When he lived at home,
his mother hid them from him,
her box of sanitary napkins,

the used ones he never found
in the bathroom wastebasket.
Once he saw a pair of her "bloomers"

floating in the pail by the washing machine.
The water was bloody, and he remembers
her caustic reply when he asked why.

Now, his girlfriend's warm, rolled-up pad
stares at him from the sink ledge,
and he hardly knows what it is,

or how to stomach it,
this part of life,
this most natural of things.


RAT RACE
Those of us with cheese
and our skulls intact

get to run it again
tomorrow.


THE LAST BATH
Four of us kids in the tub,
unsupervised for the moment,
my two sisters in the back,

standing, spreading their labia apart
to reveal their inner pinkness--
my brother poised over me

in the front, near the faucet,
his little body shiny with water,
as he holds his small penis and pisses

and gleefully I catch
the clear arcing stream in my mouth . . .

when my parents walk in
on that last bath we all took together.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Bob Slaymaker's short stories, essays and poems have appeared in Callaloo, The Christian Science Monitor, Essence, Exquisite Corpse, The North American Review, Orbis, Poetry Ireland, River Styx, and The U.S. Latino Review. A product of Columbia's graduate writing program, and NYU's graduate film program, Bob has taught writing at SUNY, CUNY, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Alabama, and NYU. He now teaches writing classes privately and is always looking for more students.








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