Poem: Period Tracker

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Robert Molloy

On the 22nd of each month my period tracker application
reminds me,
“Your cycle is starting”
Distant echoes of an upturned grin.

When I started Hormone Replacement Therapy
My uterus would concave at its vibration –
a phantom contraction.
I didn’t remove the application.
The uninstall option
is a pulling of fingertips.
A silent ‘no.’
A promise
of a femme returning.

menstruation is the body releasing tissue that is no longer needed.
The uterus contracts presses the blood vessels takes away oxygen.
The body choking the body.
My unwanted guest leaves red stains on the doormat.

The definition of redolent
is “someone or something that brings back strong memories.”
The smell of fresh flowers is redolent of spring.
Pain in my abdomen is redolent
of full days spent curled on sofas,
Advil and dark salted chocolate’s swallowing

The first drip of shedding
came in white capris
with mother connected by telephone cord an hour and a half into the future

The 21st became preparation for the evacuation.
Tracking
a space for repetition.
My body is pink yarn tangled hormones.
Is the stains left behind.
Is redolent of itself.

The app is designed to understand how your body works.
Redolence of what others face.
To prepare you for “what’s to come.”
Instruction book based genetics holds the leftover parts from mechanics.
Prediction of tender organs

My identity is both waxing and waning.
A retracing of a sketch.
Fibonacci’ sequenced into knots.

App reminds me of my ‘fertile window.’
The most optimal time for genetic code.
Emphasis of the binary presses for a seat at my identity’s table.

My notification buzzes.
“Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while.
Want to catch up?”
Uterus contracts presses the blood vessels again.
Wringing itself in confusion.

16 months into transition I am red fragment and ripped tissue.
Depth cleaning’s redolence
My period doorstepped.
I become calories
pain medication
chromosomes.

Doctor says my body could be “rejecting” the testosterone –
Redolent of its monthly ritual.
She suggests a different brand of masculinity.
I am reminded of gaining knuckle bruises and greying hairs
The loss of soprano and girl reckless.

App says,
“I am happy you are back”
A declaration’s arrival,
a floodgate’s retrospection.

I clean with hydrogen peroxide.
Run cold water over my seams.


Robert Molloy (he/they) is in his last semester at Ryerson University studying Politics & Governance. They were the Trans Collective Coordinator at the RSU for two years.

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