The price of youth


Blood clots the size of a baby’s fist
stain the carpet, block the toilets
and color the bedsheets red.

the price of youth2

The room smells of old food or dead fish
as you lay curled like a fetus.
A glass of warm water is said to calm the womb
or a hot water bottle pressed against your stomach.
But it’s not until that cream white drop,
half the size of your thumb
slides down your naked thigh
and onto the marble floor,
that you are suddenly sure
your child is dead
and you’re free to go on living.

–  Written by Lethokuhle Msimang

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