“inhale, exhale, gasp.

… she runs

from the room, comes

back flushed and clutching

a typed contract for me to sign,

prone, bearing down on my stomach.

I have not had sex for two months….”

 

BROAD STREET kicks off National Poetry Month with a tribute to the spaces where verse connects with things feminine, by new poet Annie Persons.  Click to print the broadside below, or scroll down for a large-print version.

 

 

Annie Persons is poetry consultant to the Broad Street staff and a student in VCU’s MFA program.

 

Feminine Orders

When the procedure begins

I wish I could see the words stitched

onto my socks: Motherfucking Girl

Power. Tube, plunger, speculum,

the IUD unwrapped

from its colorful plastic package,

inhale, exhale, gasp; suddenly the nurse

realizes the date I wrote

on my intake form means

I haven’t had a period

in one month. Although

 

the urine test already proved

I am not pregnant, she runs

from the room, comes

back flushed and clutching

a typed contract for me to sign,

prone, bearing down on my stomach.

I have not had sex for two months.

I am thirteen again,

collarbone and collared shirt,

shy new student at a Christian

school, asking my mother to initial

a Chastity Pledge I will give

to my tight-lipped health teacher:

I will not have sexual intercourse

before marriage.

 

One month later I search

for toilet paper in the cleaning

supply cupboard of an unfamiliar

bathroom. A man I will promise

to text again soon waits for me

in bed. When I wipe, I almost miss

the end of a wire I should not

be able to see or touch.

Slow pull. The thin cross,

Annie Persons

now useless, drips blood onto my palm,

and I marvel at how small it is, how easily

it slid out of me.