Aristotle called it,
this monthly, moon driven
shaped by sperm
embryo to be.
When I was young,
millions of minuscule
hard hatted workmen
of moonlight menstrual masonry
brain and body blocks
that once were me
most excellent matter
blood from bone to womb;
I was once it.
It became me
and I, profligate,
shed materia prima monthly
’til one winter moon
Harvest moon became son
and twenty-one years later, he
is now free
to harvest his own sun,
another’s materia prima
shaped of his moonlit deed
while I lose moon and son,
each month slipping
In June I enter the red chapel
that middle age cul de sac temple
known as the women’s house,
the cushioned central room,
its periodic moonlit services
and regular reupholstering,
once predictable as the moon,
now have become less certain.
Though attendance is still mandatory,
an incipient hotbed of agnosticism
and faulty electrical wiring creates
incendiary conflicts that won’t come out
in the usual liturgical wash.
Despite the lifetime good intentions
of the management, things fall apart.
Flowers wilt, stained glass fades
and the chalice tarnishes.
“Treatment of the yeast problem seeks not the eradication of yeast from the diet or the person, but rather a new relationship between the person and the yeast.”
Dr. Stanley Baker, Notes on the Yeast Problem
I put the book down and said to my husband,
The dream I had last night about the choir
practicing in the front of my general store,
it was about my yeast infection.
“Your what?” he laughed. I could tell I had his attention.
You know, I said, vulvovaginitis,
the thing I get down there, a choir singing out of tune,
making its presence known, burning with fervent zeal,
the uninvited host at my door.
This book says healthy bodies have a balance of flora and fauna,
yeast and bacteria. We can’t get along without them,
but stuff happens and the harmony gets out of whack.
Let’s say the bass and tenor sections start trying to out sing each other
and the sopranos and altos kind of give up and start wringing their hands.
You know what happens after that; all hell breaks loose
and nobody’s singing in tune, especially me.
I’ve tried to get rid of them with all that sloppy medicine,
but they just keep coming back.
The choir director says they’re a non-profit group
and have no other place to go.
I gotta accept the fact that my body is made up
of a whole bunch of quarrelsome choristers
that are going to be there whether I want them or not.
The book says the idea isn’t to get rid of them,
it’s to help them get along with each other.
It leans toward homeopathic solutions
like yoghurt, garlic and giving up panty hose,
fine with me, especially the panty hose;
but in the dream I made a deal with the director,
“Get along, get in tune, and get some better sheet music,”
I said, “and you could be good for business.”
It’s all a matter of fine tuning and effective labor negotiation.
“You’re incredible,” my husband said.
“By the way,” he continued, “How are you feeling?”
Better, I said. The store is open, I said.