For Thomas

For Thomas

I used to think abortion should be outlawed
because it is unethical, immoral.
“Pro-choice” is simply cheap paint over sick graffiti;
“pro-life,” of course, the only means of preventing murder.
Life begins at conception
(it has a heartbeat)
(it has fingernails)

But now I know

After a late night shift, doubled-over,
After a deluging night in denial (of the unknown yet obvious)
After – finally – gloved hands and glazed eyes
what I had tried to reason away;
immediately relieving the fear that I might find it a relief
(to be free from that unexpected, unaffordable-right-now pink line)

There was no heartbeat
There were no fingernails to see
“Your uterus is empty”
(resonated in me that, maybe, I had imagined it all along)

There was a distant “sorry”
(I forgive you?)
and a prescription to return in two weeks
(no problem, I had a prenatal visit scheduled then anyway)

No answers, no explanations,
“The bleeding should stop by then.”
“We'll verify you're okay by then”
(it was barely even a fetus)

Now I know

Abortion should be outlawed
And not just because
of my standards versus yours
of your rights versus hers

But because
to give you “a choice” takes away mine


So I know this is a touchy subject - but I would greatly appreciate any objective feedback you can offer. I'm still not completely happy with the last two stanzas. And I'd like to know how the overall impression comes across - if you would be honest about it. Thanks :)

my funnygirl

lying in the drawer where she hides (oh, my funnygirl).
puppet strings cut and strewn about her, entangling
oddities and freaks, lost marbles for companions—broken thing
reaching inside, i try to draw her out, but elbows push—away
she shrinks farther back, knees crawling, fingers digging. harder.
nails bleed as wood splinters, signaling warning (staining remorse)
the lines of her palms now forming the grain of her coffin.

her eyes dark and full (of ebbing sorrow
spilled secrets) from fearful eyes carrying a chronology down
her face. (small panes for such a large soul)
small hands that hold much.

her breaths come heavy and she heaves with sobbing silent screams
(and He shouts in her pain to awaken)
but like that couple who hid to cover, so she retreats
barring herself without (within), flinching as i hold her
i lean low and close to her grief (and my fingers do gather
as i sit to bleed.) her own story mixing with my own.

she lays in her drawer, no love or joy
a hell of absence—cry for peace
and all i can do is struggle to lift the corners of her mouth,
oh my funnygirl.