'Taming the Shrew' by Zenobia Frost | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

Maroochydore, 1999After 10 Things I Hate About You


A girls’ weekend. Just me, Mum
and Blockbuster, probably fish ‘n’ chips,
surely chocolate.

Maybe I mistook the word menarche
for men-ache, watching Mum watch Heath Ledger
croon the song that she said
once lured her into marriage: ‘You’re just too good
to be tru-oooooh—’ She sighed.

I sighed, her mirror, on the motel’s
twin bed. And locked Heath’s shit-eating grin
to a sensation low in my body:
a sudden peristalsis – as if
my uterus had seen his face
and smashed some internal bottle
of cheap wine against my bow,
set sail.

So many firsts might stain
the linen of stopovers
like these. Later I find the merest blip
of ochre blood, as if the film itself
was my induction to our
family legacy: bleeding for men
who sing for forgiveness.

Zenobia Frost