Tracey Dahl “At the Abortion Clinic”

At The Abortion Clinic
by Tracey Dahl

I went to the abortion clinic.
I brought brownies and pies,
smuggled in cookies and cupcakes.
All manner of baked goods, carefully
wrapped in plastic, crowded
at the bottom of my purse.
They were presents for the abortionist.
But she would not take them,
she refused my gifts of apron and oven.
Said it was a risk of poison,
modern day hemlock
of fanatical hypocrites.

I did not visit with a belly
of zygote, ova and sperm.
Instead I went to Planned Parenthood
to use their tools.
I became a sacrifice
for the surgical table.
I voted to forgo the stirrups.
The lights migraine voltage
above me, I pulled up my shirt.
Exposed like the moon,
my womb.

I accepted no anesthesia,
the abortionist could not watch.
The scalpel was a vigil
with such luster,
I almost didn’t feel
the first incision.
I sliced halfmoons like rinds
out of my waist. Left and right.

The protesters heard it all.
Self-inflicted agony is a wail
that reaches and withers
the picket line.
In between my cries,
their gods ceased to exist,
as the protesters, those
pro-lifers, believed a baby
was being born within the walls
of an abortion clinic.

I was not preforming
a caesarian, my scars will never
result in a baby.
Instead, I excavated,
like entombed treasures
one after the other,
my ovaries.

There, I plucked
my ovaries as bloodied tulip bulbs.
Held them in my hand
as if I was a greek myth
and had castrated a monster.
I grasped them as clay,
as if harvested from dirt
and sacred.
They were sacred.

I closed up my wounds,
took what was left of my hips,
mixed it with twin holy marbles.
Out of this potion, I conjured
a microphone.
My ovaries made a perfect
mouthpiece, my fallopians
became the plug-in.

My ovaries are not
an inkwell for your legislation.
They are not the scales of blind justice
outside your courthouse.
They are not yours.
My ovaries are not sluts.
They are not trophies
like stuffed elk on the wall.
They have never been
an invitation to rape.
They are not yours.

They are mine,
to use as I choose.

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