Julia Gaskill

Pine Row Issue No. 8 Autumn 2023 - Featured Poet

we use my boyfriend’s COVID stimulus to buy tampons.


my body gifts me my first real period in five years

on the day we settle into our new house as if to say

here is your homecoming gift, babe, hope it fits

and I spend the day bleeding as I shift boxes

from one room to another and then back to the first

my body sheds a layer as I pull weeds

from the flakey backyard soil

I feel nauseous as I write this poem at 2am

sitting on my dining room floor with limbs

begging to go to bed after relentless momentum

but I peel off this old version of my skin as

something so ingrained in me that has been

missing for years returns and I leap and spin

in my kitchen screaming along with John Darnielle’s

glowing face on my laptop AND I AM COMING HOME


and for the first time this feels of home and I laugh

like I have every answer I could ever need

coursing through my veins

About the poem:  as shared by the poet

I wrote this poem in April of 2021 very early in the morning (as the poem notes). I "swooped" this poem when I first wrote it - meaning I wrote it out pretty quickly without putting much thought into the outcome. I have since come back to this poem several times over the last couple of years, doing edits here and there, and reshaping the poem as a whole. For me, the process of editing is easiest when I come back to a piece with fresh eyes and a more clear outlook on what I want the piece to say. Overall, this poem is a snapshot of a distinct beat in my life, which is one of my favorite things a poem can do - it invites the reader into a small instance of a person's life and, for a brief moment, they can sit side-by-side with the poet during what they've gone through. I think poetry has the power to transport the reader, sometimes even when so little has been said. 

Julia Gaskill (she/her) has competed multiple times on national stages and toured with her poetry across North America. Her work has been published through Vagabond City Lit, Nailed Magazine, Knight’s Library Magazine, and more, and her poems have been featured on the YouTube channels SlamFind, Write About Now, and Button Poetry. She was included in the anthologies In Absentia in 2020 and Excelsior! in 2022. Julia is the author of four chapbooks, runs the mic Slamlandia, co-created the Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam, and is the creator of the spoken word album, Stouthearted Bitch. Her debut full length collection, weirdo, is out now from Game Over Books. It goes without saying, she loves Muppets more than you. 

Find out more about Julia at @geekgirlgrownup on Twitter and Instagram or at juliagaskill.com. 

-- now accepting submissions for the next issue -- 

© Pine Row Press | privacy policy