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manifest press

i’m not really sure why i was thinking about this today, but i was, and i felt the need to share. the title is a lot more literal than the titles i usually give my poetry, but the reason i feel compelled to share this is the same reason i want the title so explicit: this shit needs to be talked about. as much as possible.


fingered ultrasound magnetized to a fridge in southeast portland. no inhabitants with children and i turned to ask if it was hers. yes, she says, a cherished reminder of something that happened to me.

carried home by the thought that this could be real. that this could be reified by film and imaging technology and magnetized to my fridge. that this could be remembered and re-membered.

sobbed in the car having learned once removed of loneliness and loss. you had faced it and i didn’t know. you had wrapped it in silence. you had buried it. you had not magnetized it to your fridge.

handed through a small window, $400 cash and a silent agreement. behind the door being questioned. behind a defiant knowing. behind a judging gaze. behind a cubicle partition.

gasped at the admonishment when asking for the memento, the image reminder of a bodily event. we only give it to you if you keep the baby. the procedure is a favor, the process a punishment.

stared upward to the curling poster, inspirational fields of wheat and a benevolent glow. i am elsewhere. she said they’d put her under, but i can feel the violence occurring in my womb.

tried to rationalize the vaguely numbed pain of the occasion. it doesn’t have to hurt like this. letting go of the flesh. the reprimand maddening, unnecessary penance for bodily reclamation.

escorted down the hallway to sterilized comfort, drug-hazed women in la-z-boys in a lolling silent chorus of shared but separate experience. i want to ask her. her. her. her. instead we loll in silence.


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