Saturday School Unteaching

Cast to the corner like punished women, or girls relieved to be
dismissed for now for five days for less for more for body’s unholy

action through no willed action, far from Book, Verses left
untouched, God’s Pages unsullied with our fingers unstained—why

assign this fluid with morality, no morality, bearer of DNA
how does it become unclean, this bright nectar channeling

breath, what could be more unpolluted than the ruby juice
of existence; of this, He said, I was made in the First Revelation,

a clot of it congealed, so why this monthly peel, liquid to solid
and thick liquid with softened tissue shedding renders me filthy,

passing through a cove with its once ripened half pre-person
bids me impure; the epitome of purity I thought is the release

of this curdled scarlet, a reminder of how you came to be,
and to become a being of pleading; what sin does it commit, these

layers molting that forbid me from worship, what evil is hurled
when my mouth hums righteous, body bends at marked times

the way a moon moves in cycle, that erases my space in a row
of praying sisters; who would I anger wrapping myself

in a fabric at risk of absorbing a few drops of blood dripping;
doesn’t God want to hear me most when I’m bleeding

Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad’s poetry has appeared in The Missing Slate, Passages North, HEArt Journal Online, Pinch Journal, and is forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly and Silk Road Review. She is the poetry editor for Noble / Gas Qtrly, and a Best of the Net, Pushchart Prize, and Best New Poets nominee. She currently lives in New York where she practices matrimonial law.