Alissa Quart

Repro

I.

Auto-fill writes: I am pregnant;
I am pregnant in
Spanish; I am having 
a baby and have no
insurance; I’m scared of having
a baby; What trimester am I
in; What trimester is abortion illegal.
Google says: I need your love;
I need an abortion;
I am pregnant can I eat shrimp;
Am I having a miscarriage quiz;
I need help paying for abortion;
Abortion clinic violence;
Not ready to have this baby.

II.

The women are 23, 19, 41, 35.
They are at Kmart, Home Depot.
Daycare worker, night nurse.
Now: ultrasound, waiting
period, Trailways, TRAP law.

The way euphemisms
tell the truth. The polite
word is always “discomfort.”

The door clicks when it locks.
Hungry to talk. No words.

The room: Reagan era red, fake
curtains, silk fishtail fern, mustard
satin bed spread. Midwestern painted
rainbows. She’s got a cold
from her two-year-old.
The other women talk over
the procedure. The someone holding
her hand, not her husband

III.

God will punish, the older people
say. Unison sing: “Genocide.” A man
with a Santa beard, long gun.
Indiana. In Mississippi: day
glo signs, floppy hats, tiny peachy fetus
dolls. Their lawn chairs too near
Women’s Health, flesh
sunscreened white.
Metal-detectors-as-framing-devices.
Surveillance cameras equal glass birds.

In a place like this, in America: a long gun.

That you are afraid of dying when
you are trying to find your life.

IV.

Bed rest with the mysteries. Old blood.

A mandala of succor, of suffering.

Dark blood could – always does – mean anything.

It gets sloppy when you are trying to find love.

A glass of water, a small pill.
Hard candy, saltines, afterwards.
Silk flower in your hair.

V.

Google says: poems about abortion;
poems about abortion and feelings
of sorrow, shame or guilt;
Remorse is Forever: Abortion Poem
.
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome
Support
poems about abortion from
a baby’s point of view
.

We can say: No remorse.
Neither shame nor sorrow.
We can say: The birth spectrum,
"repro rights." One in three. Of us.
Or: These choices are always 
field work, freedom song, elegy, 
captivity narrative.

This feeling won’t forget you.

Alissa Quart

Alissa Quart is Executive Editor of the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Her poetry book Monetized was published in 2015 by Miami University Press: her poems have appeared in the London Review of Books, The Offing, NPR, The Awl, Poetry Society of America, and Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications. She is the author of three non-fiction books including Branded and Republic of Outsiders and has had numerous features and opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Elle, Vogue and many other publications. She has also produced and developed three visual works about reproductive rights including the Emmy- and ASME-nominated multimedia project “The Last Clinic.” She was a 2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and has taught non-fiction at Columbia University’s Journalism School and elsewhere. She is currently working on a non-fiction book for HarperCollins on social class and the family.

Maisie Crow

Maisie Crow (1982) grew up in South Texas. She is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Maisie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, studied as a graduate student at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and interned at MediaStorm and The Boston Globe.