Life + Culture



I waited in my nausea,

Surrounded by stone-faced bourgeois

With rolls of twenty-dollar bills

In jacket pockets with their pills,

Funds from the ATM outside
The clinic door, because the guide,

Imbedded in the website said

“Cash only in advance.” The dread

Concealed — as if I really read

The Mademoiselle — my eyes instead

Were staring at the vinyl floor,

So clean and cold, a wise decor

In case a mother’s vomit soiled

The luster underfoot, and spoiled

This sterile place.

And then, all through

The brief and mindless interview

And prep, they called my baby “it.”

I tried to think that what God knit

In me was only “it.” I gripped
For dear life every word — a script

To somehow make this life an “it.”

But then, with legs still split

In clamps, I lifted up my head,

And saw there on the table, dead,

A tiny torso, not an “it,” but “she,”

Destroyed, and with her, me.

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