Free Bleed

Red paint and silhouette
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

I’m bent over my sink, nose bleeding in a steady drip that splatters against the white porcelain and reminds me of rain. I’ve already been bleeding for so long and walking around with a tissue stuffed up my nose does nothing but make me feel lightheaded, so I free bleed in the cool light of my bathroom as a congealed trail begins to form on my upper lip while crimson slides along the closed seams of my mouth and I think about letting it in to fill the crevices of my teeth. Once, I had a dream that my teeth fell out, loose molars knocking hollowly against canines as they spilled from my mouth, and next came bloodied hunks of jaw coated with the taste of bone marrow even though I had no way to know what that tasted like, but it did, and no matter how much jaw broke off the undesirably soft slope of my features stayed the same. Looking into the mirror, I like to think that the blood covering my face now makes me look like a man, or a facsimile of a man in an action movie whose cocksure smile is amplified by a perfect red smear under his nose to show that he fought, won and is unaffected, the implication of violence its own gender performance and when my uterus cannibalizes itself every month until it bleeds from the pain, turning the shower floor pink I wonder if that is another type of performance art, a violent rejection of the body I also do not want to be housed in. Someday I hope to bleed for myself, under the blade of a doctor who will pull out tissue and fat until the mounds on my chest disappear, and in the aftermath, when fluid, and pus and more blood drain from my open wounds into little plastic cups, it will feel like healing, and not like escaping.

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