No Longer Yours

Dearest politicians,

Don’t call me senseless.
Don’t call me by a different self.
Don’t call me this or that
Or anything else
I can’t stand it,
I have no time—
No time here or there or anywhere.

Don’t call me at all.

Every year I’ve wished to
Do more than bake pies,
Fold clothes,
Buy groceries.

I’ve wished to
Be more than a walking machine of ‘life’
To smiling passerby.
Yes, I’ve wished for a child or two,
But I’ve also wished for much more than that.

Dearest politicians, you don’t need to wish;
You easily make strides, leaps, turnovers.
You squeal the constitution like a mindless rooster.
You tell me my lines and stage directions,
Give me an apron and spatula.
You grab my uterus and
Sell it for two cents on the black market.

You force me to stillness;
I walk in circles all-day
And make all sorts of faces for you.
I’m a smiling rag doll.
I spit out babies like sunflower seeds.

I say and do and think as I should.
You clap for me from
Outside the crib.

In between the moment of tomorrow
And today,
I search for more of me to find.
Like winter’s last rose,
I shove what I can
Into a secret pouch,
Lungs crisscrossed in wait,
Lips whispering for more and more and more.

But wanting more and much and many
Is never enough for you.
I sit in the electric chair of
Your womanly expectations,
Clad in a straitjacket of Bibles.
Pacifiers clog my ears,
Bibs cover my eyes.
You print out your laws and
Stuff them into my mouth.

I can’t see or hear or speak,
And you like it so.

You sculpt my body into a 1950s replica.
You have me think away
My wants and sensations.
You have my hands out, palms up, head down;
You have me sing your praise;
You have me keep a life I can’t raise,
You steal my body,

And I lose myself.

By now, I’ve forgotten to climb mountains
And blow on dandelions.
I’ve forgotten the art of saying no.
I’ve forgotten what my body used to look like,
Feel like (mine, mine, mine only).
I’ve forgotten to want and choose and do.
I’ve probably forgotten more than that,
And forgotten what I’ve forgotten.

But I’m quite done with forgetting.
I say and do and think as I wish.
I feel what I see and believe in what I don’t.
I find my body and cup it close to me
Like a small candle.

If I want,
I could wield life with my pinkie;
I could take Plan B.
I could pray your constitution away;
I could pay to play against the patriarchy,
And I could win.

I could do as I want,
When I want,
With no questions whatsoever.

I’m in your red-white-blue prison,
And I want out.

No Longer Yours,
Woman

About the Poem

This poem is in response to the recent overturn of Roe v Wade. As a young adult, this is extremely disheartening and disturbing news. I’m upset that this is the world I must grow up in, a country that does not respect my personal reproductive freedom or the basic right to make decisions about my body and health. This poem tries to reflect these emotions, but also have a net empowering message to inspire others to advocate and fight back.

About the Author

Gabrielle is a student at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Creative Writing and Neuroscience. She grew up in New York City, where she enjoyed taking advantage of its various writing and arts opportunities. In addition to writing, she loves reading, running, drawing, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. She has previously been published in Apparition Lit, Girls Write Now, the Decameron Project, Cathartic Lit Magazine, and others.

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