pages Jingle Sweat Bleed

by Jo Gatford

Published in Issue No. 198 ~ November, 2013

Eighties child with the Doublemint jingle and the hot boy and the hot girl on the bus, their fingernails turning into hymen-red packaging as they share a chew or two. Nothing sexier than watching someone masticate with their mouth open, saliva resinous and burning, turning to chalky grey rubber and an aching jaw. Sweat drips down clavicle and forearm, or was that the Coke one? Yeah, nineties child with Etta’s grinding throat wanting to make clinical vanilla secretary love to that guy on the scaffold. Sweat again. Crimson too, a spurt of white curling around the Cs and woah mama that body, Bodyform for you. Packaged empowerment folded into a little pad. No sweat but blood enough, child, blood for a girl to clean each month, to remind her that she’s no longer a girl. And when there’s no blood, there will be sweat.

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Jo Gatford wants to live on your bookshelf. She has short works published in various literary magazines, including Litro, Open Pen, and SmokeLong Quarterly. Her novel 'Piecemeal' was longlisted for the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize and shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead bursary. She lives in Brighton where she writes for her supper and wrangles two insomniac babies.