Words Like Applesauce | Bethany Mary

in spanish class, we are learning
about vegetables and gynecology
at the same time. one minute
the professor is asking me
how do I feel, personally,

about the existence of tomatoes,
and the next I am asking her
¿cómo se dice vagina?
she blinks rapidly, as if
confronted with a new word,

a new world. she can barely
repeat the thing, cringing,
there is no translation
just like carpal tunnel
and applesauce. she steers us

back to safety, back to food
and hands and food that you eat
with your hands, and I am still
thinking. there are probably
words for these words.

spanish women have to talk
about vaginas, too, as often
as applesauce, if not more.
how do I feel, personally,
about vaginas would be
a better question to ask,

but the professor would never.
she would have to say it. now
I mutter about vegetables,
tomates no son importantes,
but my classmates are still
staring as if I had cursed,
men and women both.

————
Bethany Mary is from Bowie, Maryland. She currently studies health science and creative writing at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, where she serves as poetry editor for the 2015 issue of Green Blotter Literary Magazine. Her work can also be found in Outrageous Fortune.

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One thought on “Words Like Applesauce | Bethany Mary

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