My first boyfriend stole oxycodone from my parents’ house one winter. The pills were for my mother’s broken arm. I counted them, and twelve of thirty capsules weren’t there. The next time he came over, I filled the bottle with cyanide. I filled it with Viagra. I filled it with laxatives, and he couldn’t leave the bathroom for a week. I filled the bottle with the bones of all his childhood pets. That stopped him in his tracks. I filled it with real pearls. We all forgave him. God, I loved that boy.
My second boyfriend took me to a swimming pool some out-of-towners owned: a prism of electric blue beside an empty house. It was diorama midnight; all was silver and alive. I slipped into the pool with my underpants still on, a maxi-pad between my skinny legs. It was my seventh cycle ever, and I didn’t know the way a pad inflates in water, goes to seed and send its cotton through the pool. I shocked us both with all that pulp: the gauzy flakes that buoyed from my crotch around our heads, like feathers of a dead white bird, a couple stained with red.