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Sestina for the DivaCup

A poem by Kaycie Surrell.

By F+

Illustration by Unyimeabasi Udoh.


Her first period came in the morning

and she felt her insides boil and rage.

Her mother found her next, scared and pink —

brightest red on the clean, white towel.

“What happens next,”, she whispered all soft

and quiet so nobody would know.


Mostly, the boy who could never know

that she had changed overnight, this morning

a woman with blood that dripped onto soft

skin and new panties, all the rage

and quick, her mother gave her a towel

to clean up. Then a maxi-pad in pink


plastic to tape inside her new pink

underwear. “It’s this or that you know”

she said, a tampon next to the towel

like a dagger, too spooky for morning —

threatening to return each month with rage

promising her she’d never again be soft.


Every month she wrapped herself in soft

blankets, a heating pad on her bright pink

skin doing its best but still a rage

filled her. How could nobody know

a better way than this? A sweet morning

of relief before she threw in the towel?


Then suddenly, as she sat on her bath towel

a small, beautiful thing made of squishy soft

rubber caught her attention from her morning

magazine. It jumped out from the rest of the pink

glossy pages. Did nobody know?

How could she have been so blind? Hot rage


filled her then. An ad — “Brand new, all the rage

modern, reusable like a towel!”

“Twelve hours of total comfort, you’ll know

it’s the one for you! Our product is soft

and comes in cool, clear purple or pink!

Never have another stressful morning!”


and now she knows that small rubber perfectly pink

thing is meant to quell her rage. The DivaCup! So soft

like the towel she sits on when she shoves it inside herself each morning.


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