Marriage

Behind the curtain of marriage I treasure the single men I know, each one a potential gem who would surely treat me better than my husband does.

I imagine how they would listen to me as we engage in stimulating conversations over a meal they provided, how respectful and grateful they would act, how passionate as lovers, how giving and attentive.

I fantasize about men who balance their check books and clean up after themselves, men who are calm and communicate maturely, who do the damn dishes, who save money or at least spend it on their family, who let go of past hurts, evolve and hold space for me to do the same.

I try to make myself at home within the sound-proof confines of my marriage, though the walls threaten to close in and crush me; both execution device and tomb.

Within the secret tortures of my marriage, my husband and I fight fervently leading up to the moment that we arrive out our friends’ houses, quickly plastering smiles on our faces as we ring the doorbell.

My veins are scalded by resentment for all the ways my husband takes miles without giving an inch.

I scan the horizon for a silver lining, a way to improve my situation: so far marriage counseling, life coaching and me doing the work on myself have all fallen short.

Yet deep below the cracks in our relationship, I sense a fertile humus.

We share more than our sordid history together; we make a home and a family.

We are united in our love for our baby, though we often disagree bitterly on how to raise her.

We share a commitment to our life together and a vision of our future, though we put different amounts of effort and resources towards both: in our relationship, I do all the earning and handle all the responsibilities for our household.

He drags down my energy and my finances, invoking a slow and destitute death.

Perhaps I’m not in a position to judge him: maybe he is the better one and I am the bitter one.

For now, I remain hidden behind the curtain of marriage, bound to my husband and yet alone.

A Tale of Two Titties

My tits used to be ornamental, fruit of my tree

Now they serve a purpose greater than me

I breastfeed my baby night and day

Engorged and heavy, my tits now sway

Leaky Lefty has an easy flow

Old Faithful, the right breast, is steady and slow

Faithful humbly carried the load when Lefty was out of commission due to a painful combination of mastitis and a blocked milk duct

My breasts lost their perkiness and youthful appeal long ago

Before the rise of services such as Only Fans, for which they could have raked in riches, I’m told

I’ve worked a lot harder for a lot lower wages

Putting aside all rampages, I bow my head in gratitude for my body, my baby, and my reproductive freedom

Blink

They say that you’ll grow up in the blink of an eye, that these precious moments will fly by.

They say that tomorrow you’ll start kindergarten, and next year you’ll graduate high school.

For now, you are still tiny and by my side.

I can hold you and gaze into your baby eyes.

I see eternity reflected back at me.

Your smile elicits bliss. I’ve never known a love like this.

My old friend, PTSD, brings traumatic memories.

I hope you don’t experience any of the horrors I have endured.

May you feel safe and supported.

If my love could protect you always, if my kisses made you bullet-proof…

Little one, you are teaching me how to love more deeply

I want to be present for you, bear witness to the miracle of your life

Yet my eyelids are heavy

Do I dare blink?

Freedom

From the top of the ferris wheel of young love

You came to exist within me

Though I will never see your face or hear your heart beat

I carry you with me still

I had lofty goals of starting a family while starting a career

With less than 9 months to solve big problems, reality set in

I was privileged enough to have a job but not privileged enough to have maternity leave

I searched desperately for arms to hold you while I worked, considered everyone I knew, and found no one because everybody else was working too.

I am grateful for my freedom to choose what I do with my body

I take responsibility for my abortion but I must acknowledge the role that US healthcare un-system played in my decision

Why is it that so many nations have figured out how to provide years of parental leave, afford their citizens healthcare as a human right, give freedom to live without fear of financially devastating medical bills, yet we cling so bitterly to our ‘freedom’ that it poisons us to death

Our freedom is an illusion- the uneven distribution of privilege in America imprisons us in different ways while blinding us to each other’s struggles

Dear one, I blame myself for your abbreviated and hidden existence- I chose an unforgiving career with militant training and rigid requirements that didn’t allow space for the expanding curves of my female body

I felt trapped between the walls I planted myself between, I searched but I didn’t find room for you

I prioritized service to others so much that I had nothing left to give to you

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Those words don’t come close to expressing the raw maternal emotions I feel for you, little one.

The air above my closed lips crushes me, impregnated with secrets

Even if I had managed to keep you, American freedoms might have killed you in your youth. We have racism and freedom for gun violence in this country, dear one, and you would have been born brown.

The lack of support for pregnant women and new mothers in the United States is barbaric.

Instead of taking away our constitutional right for abortion, give us a constitutional right for maternity leave.

Instead of the right to bear arms, I wish I had the right to hold you in my arms.

Labor Pains

Give birth to your best self, America

Painful, messy, terrifying, raw
The most beautiful transformation you’ll ever see
America, you’ve been gestating too long to stop now
Humanity is bursting from your loins, America
Born of the brutal rape of racism
Blood spills on the ground
Fertilizing the soil from which you spring forth
You cannot go back to the way you were, America
You can only keep pushing forward
I am learning to listen to my heart, America
Though the change may not be obvious to you yet
Subtle shifts below the surface move mountains, America
I change my thoughts to change my life
Though the echoes of your trauma are deafening
Though the jaws of your mental imprisonment clamp down hard around me
I no longer strive to be your wounded warrior
I am your healed child, here to show you how to heal yourself
Even though you broke my heart so early and often that you left me without a sense of self
Yet my heart kept on beating
And loving
That is how you heal
Keep on loving
Love yourself, love your life, love your fellow beings and the whole Earth as yourself
Forgive yourself and others
Be kind to all, for we are children on a difficult journey that wouldn’t be so damn difficult if we were kind to each other
Pay it forward and see what happens
Love and kindness and forgiveness is the way
America is having labor pains today
I welcome your birth America, your infinite potential
You suffered so much hate that you became a hater but it is finally time to love, America

Unbridled

I finally found my life partner, my love

We’ve lived together for more than a year, peaceful as doves

Happiness pours like sunlight into my life

We wanted to make our union legal before starting a family so we applied for a marriage license
I let my two sisters know the good news- one sister was warm and loving, the other sharp daggers of ice
The first sister offered to sing a song and bake a cake
The second could not be present on our tentative date- so she rained down anger and hate
She was irate that I might celebrate the day without her in any way, however small
Her tyrant insecure ego ruled all
So I gave in to her, as I do
And excluded the rest of my family too
I am trying to understand her thoughts strange and cruel
Why should she have a say on how I carry out my wedding day?
I am a grown woman
She is unwell, wrathful as a demon unleashed from hell
She took the day dedicated to my happiness and love and made it about her anger and pain
That’s what narcissists do: they take your plans and shit in your hands
I was about to take flight and she pulled me back down, the way she does
Like everyday of my childhood, she still can’t kill my hope
Now if I do have a ceremony in the future, I wouldn’t want her there
Forced and coerced, I’m frozen in PTSD
I don’t want her in my life at all, too long have I suffered abuse and trauma from her disproportionate drama
Growing up I wished for her death for my liberation, but that’s not the way
I must be brave, face her and say
Your presence in my life is toxic
You ruined my childhood and now the day of my marriage too
How many ruined days of my life will be enough for you?
Never enough, I know that much
I ache to break free from your trauma-bonds
My brain throbs from the damage of abuse
The blade of my tongue dangles, hungry to cut you loose
In trying to tie me down, you only tied your noose
Your tight grasp only pushed me away
I’ve got this strong itch to tell you you’re a crazy bitch
If you want to stay in my life, stop being a dick
The narcissist and the co-dependent is an act I’m tired of playing
That’s how I know my man is right for me- he is giving
You have an insatiable appetite for my energy
You can’t imagine the pain you inflict on me
As you claim to care about me
I don’t want your conditional love
Love is unconditional, you’re the one who is fucked up
So I cry and kick and punch the air, wonder if you feel it out there
I hope you have nightmares about me in your sleep, that I set fire to your sheets
I learned terror and violence from you
I want to scream
I want to shout
I want to let my feelings out
A deafening roar presses behind my teeth, that old jangly door
I could drown you in my tears
We are both angry: you were born angry, and I am angry that you impose your anger as my problem; you blame me for your meltdowns which are your responsibility alone
If only everyone did what you wanted, there would be peace, or so you’d have me believe
Peace comes from within, stop your deafening din
I am not responsible for how you feel
You are the one who unleashes your anger
I am the robotic doll with no apparent emotions at all
I am also the bride, and there is no room for you in my sphere of love and positivity
With each breath I regain space for myself
By meditation or medication, I wish you well
On second thought, go to hell
It is OK for me to speak my truth
In the eye of your drama storm, I followed my heart and wed my true love
Amidst healing from your narcissistic abuse
I unite myself with self-love
You always tried to break me, but it only made me more unbreakable
You poisoned my wedding well-  I don’t want to sip from it again
You silenced my wedding bells, not knowing that the ringing in my ears cannot be suppressed
When we were little girls, I believed that I was responsible for your feelings
What an impossible task- you’ve always been mentally ill!
I believed it again when I didn’t stand up to you about getting married- when I took responsibility and cleaned up your mess by hiding my marriage from everyone else so that you wouldn’t feel left out
I hurt myself in the name of not hurting you
Yet you are hurt nonetheless, despite my best efforts, my ultimate sacrifice
I’m so fucking exhausted by this awful game
I hope that I fell for the lie for the last time
Armed with understanding, I slay the dynamic between our archetypes
There will be more tears to shed until the day that you are dead, and probably after that too, just to have known you, to have had my developing neuroendocrine system deformed by you
I struggle between wanting to make amends, to be sisterfriends
and to speak my truth, tell you what I think of you
Here is my unbridled rage: fuck you
Your misery is not my responsibility
I may not feel free yet, but with the pen I can write my revenge
Liberate my thoughts even though you may never read this
For a minute there, I lost myself
All these asshole experiences- with family members, exes, bosses
Simulating that I am a hunted and trapped animal
All this elaborate illusion to challenge me, push me to the limit to see if I can remember under pressure
That I am one with everything, that everything is one
In the quantum field, I tap into my innate healing energy, and radiate healing energy out to those motherfuckers as well
To the haters- though you are hurting, you are still loved
I may not like you, but I can assure you that you too are one with everything
Though you may never believe it in this lifetime, that is your loss, that is your spiritual amnesia to recover
I pray for the swift and complete liberation from suffering of all beings

HPV

She told me that I have HPV

Human papilloma virus: the ghost of ex-partners past came back to haunt me
I want to line up my exes: the awkward horn-bag teens, the sex clients who shortchanged and stole from me, the abusive drunks, dramatic douchebags, one-night-too-long one night stands, and interrogate them whodunnit.
I will never know, of course
I may have gotten HPV from dreadful fingering, though it was probably from unprotected intercourse
Intercourse most likely undesired, as most of the sex I’ve had was unwanted by me
It could have been worse, at least it was only HPV which I contracted after riding bareback on so many dozens of dicks- I don’t know now many men have slept with me, but any one of them could have easily given me HIV, somehow I was spared
God, you were there
Kids, don’t try this at home
I tell my cervix to hang in there, I will make it up to you, treat you right
My ex-boyfriends aimed and fired at my cervix: the bullseye of my reproductive tract
Whether I got HPV long ago or from my most recent mistake, it is in me now and I may lose a piece of me in a LEEP if I don’t overcome this virus
My LEEP will be a leap of faith that I will regrow intact and complete, heal myself and still have the power to create and give my baby a better life than mine
That is the goal in all I do, even the abortions I’ve endured were to make a better future for my children than the hell I’ve lived through
So listen little virus, I am a strong, powerful giant and I will destroy you
I’ve survived too much to be taken down by the likes of you- senseless double-strand of DNA who has consumed too many of my sisters, lost to the sands of time
You won’t take me, the war is on and it got personal
There is no way I’m going to let one of those awful men leave a lasting lesion on my body
I am the supreme iron dragon goddess warrior, and my healing potential is infinite
My abilities to love and forgive and understand are among my many strengths
Watch out, virus, watch out
Instead of spreading you to someone new, I will melt you with my amazing body, take you down with my brilliant immune system
You will no longer struggle to survive, you will unite with the Spirit which flows through all things, and you will flow right out of me in peace

 

You Can Have It

Darling, though we’ve never met

You rolled the dice, you placed a bet
That you could win a lawsuit
Born of the heartbreaking news
That your baby died inside you
A horrific experience, true
But of your baby’s death, I had nothing to do
The coroner’s report reveals the truth
Your baby passed away at least a day before you ever walked my way
Darling, I didn’t even lay eyes upon you
I was being a team player, not a baby slayer
In going above and beyond to help another
I didn’t imagine I’d be sued by a mother
You said we dropped the ball
But we were never playing at all
If it is money you are looking for,
Honey you’re knocking on the wrong door
All those years I could have been earning
I spent in medical school learning
about medicine, not about law
Perhaps I wasn’t well trained after all
You want us to take the blame
for your unspeakable pain
Can you imagine what I have given up
just to help you, is it never enough?
For you, I went hungry, I went without sleep
Hard years away from my family, I didn’t see
I got stuck with needles, splashed with blood
Only for you to smear my name like it was mud
On the journey that led me to you,
I gave up love, I gave my life
I turned away from ease and took on strife
Of my own pregnancies, I sacrificed them all
My weeping uterus bled raw
Just to give you my best, I gave up the rest-
My youth, my babies and childbearing years, too many unnumbered tears
I stayed in an abusive relationship throughout medical school
Because the only way to escape my abuser would have been to drop out and forego my education
I stayed in hell for all the women held back from their full potential because of men
Though it was the hardest thing I ever did, and I still have nightmares about him
I don’t feel safe in my skin, but then again I never did
I wonder if I’d do it all again, just to reach out my hand, only to have you bite it
I fought hard to serve you, and serve you I did
Without a word of thanks from you, kid
Then again, we’ve never met
I’m named in your lawsuit, yet
What I’m trying to tell you
Is that my medical degree,
My heart, my mind
My hard work, and all my precious time-
You can have it
It was always yours anyway
Everything I do, dear patient, is for you
I give you my life- you can have my lawsuit too
In trying to hurt me, you only harm yourself
We are all connected in the One True Self
Limitlessness is bliss
Reach out and return the infinite kiss
Available to you at any time
You can have it if you understand this rhyme

Absinthe and Abstinence

Instead of drinking absinthe

I wish I’d practiced abstinence

Absinthe passed through my lips

You followed suit, more than just the tip

I was butter and you were the knife

Wish I could take back that night

Spread out like jam on toast

On a Manhattan mattress, we did the most

It got so hot, we were the roast

But I was the one who got burned

Absinthe, you brought on sweat, blood and tears

Abstinence, you would have spared me much fear

Absinthe, why’d you help me undress?

Abstinence, you would have prevented stress

Absinthe, you never delivered that green fairy

Abstinence, your fruit is sweeter than the ripest berry

Absinthe, under your tutelage I’ve grown wary

Now I practice abstinence

From every Tom, Dick and Harry

and all the other men who didn’t have my best interest at heart-

You protested loudly when I told you we had to part.

You don’t have to understand

You just have to know that you’re not my man.

Little Prayer

I humbly offer a little prayer
For the little life
That grew inside me for a while
They were due to be born yesterday

I think it was a girl
I will never know for sure
Not knowing is part of the price I pay for ending the pregnancy
How I would have loved to love her

Unbeknownst to me at the time of conception, her daddy was not fit to raise a baby with
Nine weeks later, he made it apparent that I needed to have nothing to do with him        In order to protect my own wellbeing

At the same time, I lacked the socioeconomic resources
to have the baby without him
So I gave her up, though I struggled to pay for the abortion

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Planned Parenthood, the Women’s Action Fund, and the many strong, generous advocates of women’s rights around the world. Thank you.

To the ignorant people and policies that get in the way of women accessing the health care they need, to those who do harm by being obnoxious obstacles to women’s rights, and to the health insurance companies that don’t cover jack shit of abortive care, I would like to express a sincere ‘Fuck You’.

Ending my pregnancy was a tough choice
But I’m glad I made it
It was the best decision for me
I am happier, healthier and freer now because of it

Still, in my mind’s eye I see her sweet eyes
Whisper in her little ears, caress her soft curls
Hold her little fingers and the tiniest of toes
In my imagination, I kiss her cheeks and her nose
I hear her laughter and her cries
I delight in the chubby rolls of her baby thighs

I hope you understand, little life
That your mama did the best she could
With what she had at the time

I bow in deep respect to you
With compassion and gratitude
Beaming always peace and love to you

From the spiritual realm, little life, I’m sure you can see clearly how                                                  Pro-choice is pro-life; pro-women’s lives                                                                          Women’s lives matter                                                                                                                       My abortion allowed me to give birth to my own life                                                                   I am so fortunate to live the life that I want                                                                                 To make decisions about my body                                                                                                  To be free

I pray that all women may know this freedom                                                                             If I had kept the pregnancy and given birth yesterday, I would have raised my child to value and fight for her freedom of choice                                                                                            So that if she got pregnant she could choose to do what is best for herself