Menstrual Blood

Jesus bled menstrual blood from

the wound that gave birth.

Out of his side, a gaping vulnerability,

inviting a finger, a mouth,

a community baptised.

She who made form without me,

a man, the power of erection.

She who gave life by the absence of blood,

that engorged his veins, his mouth,

his feet and hands and side.

I fear her blood, his body,

that speak of ugly misshapen form.

I fear my withered leg, twisted self,

longing for one who will touch,

speak love, unfold life.

And when I drink her blood, and eat his flesh,

with misformed folk, whose names I know not,

I take refuge, for a moment, with strangers,

in elemental confusion, in loss, in touch.

Gavin D’Costa is Professor of Roman Catholic Theology at the University of Bristol, England. He has published poems variously, most notably in the collection ‘Making Nothing Happen’ (Routledge: 2014). He has also had his poetry set to music by the composer John Pickard.