Poetic Perspectives: “Writing My Body”

Poetic Perspectives returns with Mikayah Parsons’ ’24 “Writing My Body,” an exploration of abortion rights and bodily autonomy.

Poetic Perspectives: “Writing My Body”
Poetic Perspectives returns with Mikayah Parsons’ ’24 “Writing My Body,” an exploration of abortion rights and bodily autonomy. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

What’s the big deal?
The big deal is the fetus she carries in her body.
How could she kill?
Something that is not yet living. More
Worried about the
Morality of the woman with child
Than the life of hate you’d subject that child to.
Where were your cries of judgment,
Your God-like takes on morality,
When the same child whose life you supposedly fought for
Had to sear scars in her own skin
For her voice to be heard
Above the pressing weight of a world that privileges
The voices of white men
As the authority on all things?
This is not the glorification of death
You’d make it out to be.
This is an acknowledgment that women’s health need not be
Discussed in the public eye and talked about
As though we cannot make decisions for ourselves.
Keep me under the thumb of the patriarchy,
But don’t expect me to walk around with belly out
Explaining that life is sacred in the face of the man who
Violated my life the second he came inside me,
That he defiled me,
That he denied me
My own humanity—
All you can be bothered to care about is my sagacity?
Well, here’s a lesson:
Too much of my life as a brown-skinned woman
Has been gatekept by people who won’t mind
Their own damn business.
So worried about children yet
Want your child to grow up holding BB guns
Like that shit is fun,
Guns that will one day be rifles
Pointing at God only knows who,
Praying that it’s not another school.
I think you’re scared.
It’s okay. I scare me, too—
So talented, so capable,
Everything about me scares you.
You hate that when I open my legs, that’s not an invitation in,
That I could decide whether or not I have a baby
Because that’s the one decision in the world your manhood does not permit you to make,
The one thing about me which you cannot take.
My baby? My body.
My body, my choice.
Is this seriously an issue on which I still must raise my voice?|
Step behind the curtain and take a peek in,
I am a woman, and my femininity is no sin.
Let’s get down to what this is really about.
You want to sanction my sexuality to be heard over my shouts.
I’ll give it to you,
You’ve made a good distraction.
People so confused by your lies
That we’re not all jumping to action.
Let’s simplify the fraction.
Let’s say it,
It’s not a bad word.
I know you have a history of silencing certain terms.
Guess what?
If I want an abortion,
You don’t get a say.
I know you’re pissed you can’t have your way.
Why don’t you find something else to care about?
This isn’t your conversation to be in so please see your way out.
And if you’re a woman?
You should understand
That this is all a guise for us to always answer to a man.
If this was all about a child’s life,
Don’t you think we’d care more about the children who are alive?
Passion, misplaced,
Power, unsafe,
The world that we live in is a dangerous place.
You can repeal and deal for the rest of my life,
But I won’t give up my personhood
I will continue to fight,
And I will continue to write.