Monday, January 23, 2023

A Room of My Own: The Confession of a Guy Like Me

written for the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on  January 22, 1973

her eyes fixed
on the test results
as the snowy night deepens 
the burden of red lines
on my wandering heart

Whatever happens to her in the bathroom causes her to have these dreams; they keep her squirming, tossing, and turning all night long. She says nothing, and asks nothing of me. 

What am I (or are we) going to do in the foreseeable future, the future after Roe v. Wade?

Note: This poem is a sequel/response to my haiku sequence below:

First Post-Roe Independence Day

slanted light
the rise and fall
of her belly

unbroken heat
an 800-mile road trip
to the clinic

firework-lit sky
in the cheap motel window
a dream deferred 

blood-scrawled on the entrance
silence between us

what ifs ....
return trip from the clinic
in gathering dark

FYI: The New Yorker, June 24 2022: "We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We’re Going Somewhere Worse:" We are entering an era not just of unsafe abortions but of the widespread criminalization of pregnancy.

...We have entered an era not of unsafe abortion but of widespread state surveillance and criminalization—of pregnant women, certainly, but also of doctors and pharmacists and clinic staffers and volunteers and friends and family members, of anyone who comes into meaningful contact with a pregnancy that does not end in a healthy birth... 


this silence
between the two of us
grows louder ...
winter sunlight pouring
through stained-glass windows


the demon
hiding behind my back
waits for me
to turn in the half dark
white-haired in the mirror

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