by Savannah Slone
Ode To The Uterus
endometrium vessel lives in the ovum office of my temple of starlight fingernails that type out plum promises of your magical expiration date, late. redemption dahlias in other muscular dimensions release thick honey apologies, pulse pleas through muting period panties perimetrium pelvic power, yeah, hollow womb. slam your legs shut so they echo through the gymnasium of assholes who just saw your crimson crotched shorts. shoreline mirrors sex mirrors making me a mother mirrors making my mother’s mother’s mother a mother. liners of lining leak sporadic spells of searing shedding stain my sea of sheets. climactic whispers brood and bleed, they whisper whispers of their reproductive rights to contraception, yeah, you moan cries of regulation through menstruation. myometrium fertilized fetal petal, short goodbyes through constellations of toilet trickles.
Within Your White Picket Fence
sits a large, locked house a tightly shut, white trimmed window has no eyes that peer out and no eyes peering in in front of your T.V. sits your white husband and his white wife you’re shocked you’re both shocked you pray your robotic exoskeletons move through the motions you both send love and you pray your prayers nuclear your prayers can even stop mass shootings you have your paper towels you even have spare rolls your erasure tongues don’t decompose your rags don’t fill the dying bullet holes of those whose throats are running raw screaming spewing trapped throats in constellations of smoke with window seats into loopholes now is not the time to talk about the why, no, now is the time to pray pause now is the time to pray again it has happened again and pause it has happened again let’s not point fingers let’s dance eyes sewn shut as the automatic
hum vibrates the ground we pray on as the mounds of orphaned pleas and rising statistics
pause it has happened again.
Conflict, Changing Lanes, and the Hypocritical Silence that Ensues
The fear of coughing in class at another new high school. The new girl. Eyes, slow dripping faucets. Her scratchy, shaking esophagus wants to whisper, Don’t breathe. Don’t breathe. But can’t. She can tell you about the fear of crossing the road because what if the person in that car 100 feet away thinks she’s annoying for not letting them go first. Peach tinted birth control pills sometimes go forgotten since she stopped sleeping with men. When she and her mom are in the kitchen at the same time, since she’s an adult who still lives at home, the mom says something like, “You know that lesbian sex can’t get you pregnant, right?” But she has acne and endometriosis and did you know that her baby sucked the life out of her breasts? The baby favored the left one. Three years later, you can still tell that the baby favored the left one. Body positive until her body is brought up. Did you know that what she’s really thinking about, during sad parts in movies, is about the camera crew and the call of “cut” so she doesn’t show any weakness? Incessant apologies. Incessant cold sweats. In constant need of compression and chiropractic care with the anxiety that lingers and cripples and tells her she’s not like everybody else. She’s the girl you don’t want to start a story with that you can’t finish right now. Who conflict disarms. Who won’t tell you no. Who won’t do anything if you don’t hear “no”. She’s the girl who justifies herself with phrases like, “I don’t like conflict.” Who won’t stand for injustice, unless it is her own. She’s the girl who tells everyone else to not be who she secretly is, on the inside. They leave, empowered, and then she sits in her own hypocritical silence. Sitting across from her therapist, she follows up every childhood tragedy with a laugh that might as well be paired with finger guns. The therapist looks concerned. “Would you say you use humor as a coping mechanism?” The fear of changing lanes on the highway. The fear of being shot in a school. In a movie theatre. In a mall. At a concert. But she doesn’t go to concerts. In a church. No, she doesn’t go to church, either. She doesn’t remember the date of conception of concealing herself. She will tell you about her everyday life, sure, but will she tell you about that hour of the night when the most nightmarish of scenarios seem conceivable? No, she won’t. She’ll tell you about the books she’d recommend and the funny thing her son said last week and her five year plan and the story she’s writing that she’s very barely writing and the expected snow next week and how she fears her commute in that expected snow next week and
Savannah Slone is a queer writer who recently earned her B.A. in English: Professional and Creative Writing from Central Washington University and is completing her M.F.A. in Writing at Lindenwood University. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in or will soon appear in Manastash Literary Arts Magazine, Creative Colloquy, Heavy Feather Review, Boston Accent Lit, PaperFox Lit Mag, and The Stray Branch. Savannah lives in Skykomish, WA, where she works a handful of part-time jobs and cares for her toddler with autism. She enjoys reading, writing, knitting, and hiking.