Gynecological Care by Ani Keaten

Issue 11

No scratching, no douche, no tampons, no sex, notice: if you are a true emergency, drink an aloe-vera-monistat nightcap and dream of headless blood for one week.

Let’s do a punch biopsy and cut through all the bullshit tryp-trypophobia tiny hole into a festering maw
I thought it was a yeast infection. Molecular skin under microscope can’t lie-lichen sclerosus?

No sex, no soaking, no wiping, no intercourse for two weeks: you may have rest.

If you are a witch, brew epsom salt and burn malodorous pads with catkins to divine diagnosis.

Don’t you think it might be symptosomatic? Two week taper of prednisone, betamethasone.

My friend heard of vulvodynia on TV and thinks I need vaginal dilators for my depressed vagina.

No intercourse, no driving, no lifting, no openings, no intention to advise your condition: call 911.

You may notice experience. You may increase tolerance gradually each day.




Method: I stumbled upon this source text, and knew that I needed to process it through poetry. My method for writing the poem was to read the source several times over, noting the words that were causing an emotional reaction in me. I pulled those out into a new text and began brainstorming on the words and why they impacted me. I built up the poem until I had enough to work with, and then began cutting and editing until I felt like the poem expressed the general feeling I was trying to understand.


Ani Keaten is a poet grown in the desert mountains. She writes about daily life. She enjoys creating art with oil pastels, looking at rare rocks, and seeking out high places from which to take pictures. @anikeaten