choice - poem

“it’s MY body.”

i want to scream,

but my mouth—

rife with political trauma

and defeated cries—

is shut, voice muffled,

heart heavy.


do YOU know what it’s like?

have you carried a child

month after month,

bore the weight of life,

given birth to an empty room,

suffered rape and the unwanted touch

of a serial abuser?


have you woken in a college woman’s body

replaying events hidden under the moon?

hands, hands, nails, so many hands,

unfamiliar hands reaching for your body.

no, i’m not ready, no, not yet, please, no, stop,

please.

did you hear me?


so, i don’t have the choice to not have

hands, hands, nails, so many hands

take advantage of me,

and i don’t have the choice to have no mean something,

no, i’m not ready, no, not yet, please, no, stop,

but you have the choice to make the consequences?

are you hearing me?


you’re pro-life?

what about my life?

and what about my bruises?

and what about my bank account?

and has any part of you considered

educating men on unsafe sex?

or are condoms just too expensive for you?


i can cover those if you handle the birth control.

i can buy them if it’ll prevent the plan b,

the hospital fees, the child support,

but i’ll still need your support

to give me the right to my own body.

because without that all i have is my voice

and i’ll use it to scream no, i’m not ready, no, please, no, stop

until you listen.


do you hear me?




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