— jessica wang

when I started menstruating in the mental hospital

the male nurse told me they had only cardboard

applicators they buy in bulk

he said because better rough around

the edges than hard

plastic      I had not held string

between two fingers

it is braided

too tight



my friends and I we called ourselves

the magic ems

girl whose eyes slipped from her sockets    girl

whose slippered feet turned inwards

in her wheelchair    boy who wasn’t allowed to stand

outside    girl whose bracelets left marks

along her arm     boy who didn’t shower

girl who shouted camel     meyah was the name

of my roommate


a nurse walked in wearing shorts

it’s hot outside    she said

and I can almost feel a lick

of wind in her bones

the way she ties her shoelaces

tight before she leaves the unit


clonidine is for nightmares

except zero point one milligrams

is enough to lower blood

pressure    enough to need

to miss meditation group    

    enough to need an ice pack

for the cramps     ammonium

nitrate sounds toxic but how does it taste

when swallowed


when meyah deletes herself

from her photos three weeks after discharge

there is nothing to know

except she wanted an ice

pack        too


Jessica Wang is a senior from Milton Academy, a boarding school in Milton, Massachusetts. She is originally from Madison, Wisconsin.