It’s 35 degrees, a burning July day
and the metallic, coppery stench is overpowering
as I stand in the shower, pressing the ball of my foot
onto black fabric and watching my blood seep
out, washing away. Another month, cycle, shedding.
It is a kind of cleanse, a small sense
of renewal as I keep pushing
my toes to watch more blood
drain away, drain away, drain away.
Ellen Clayton is a poet from Suffolk, England. Her poetry has been published in various online and print publications, including Capsule Stories, Nightingale & Sparrow and Brave Voices magazine. Her debut chapbook, Home Baked, was published in April 2022 by Bent Key Publishing. More of her work can be found on Instagram (@ellen_writes_poems).