It is 1973, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in favor
of a woman's right to choose.
It is 2000 and my mother chooses me.
I am born with ten fingers and ten toes
and though I remember nothing,
she remembers it all.
It is 2001 and terrorism reeks havoc and death
on the United States
and Americans are reinvigorated
with a new kind of hatred for foreigners and immigrants.
It is 2009 and my parents divorce
and I meet a man
that makes me afraid to live in my own home.
Because he lives there as well.
And though, he never touches me
he talks to me
like I am nothing
and he is the sun
and there a hiccups of time
when I believe him.
Things I was not supposed to worry about.
It is 2014 and I read about Roe v. Wade for the first time
in my 9th grade history textbook,
I thought that my generation
would not have to worry about these things.
That some other brave women had paved the way
toward my right to choose what happened to my body.
how some of my other peers never had to come to that revelation.
how we learn in silence.
It is 2015.
I work in a bar, behind the scenes
flipping burgers and cleaning toilets
but everyone still knows my name
and some people still throw their arms around me
and hold on too tight
and touch me in sly inappropriate glimpses
It is 2015,
and I have learned to grin and bear it
and never say a word.
Because there are things a woman puts up with
for the sake of a job.
It is 2015 and in my personal finance class
a teacher projects a chart of a wage gap,
chalks up the hundreds of thousands of dollars
in differential pay
to maternal leave.
And I wonder if he ever smiled through a man
more than three times his age,
with a hand on his ***
without saying a thing.
these are things we were not supposed to worry about
It is 2018 and my mother asks me how I sleep at night
knowing I litter my facebook timeline with
How I could think that I might know anything about my own body
and life and needs
because I haven't had children.
Because my thoughts, desires, obligations, and dreams,
my validity as a **** human being
and as a woman
means nothing without bearing a child.
It is 2018 and I have been using a birth control pill
for three months
I put on ten pounds
I am emotional
I hate myself
and I cry constantly
Sometimes my stomach cramps until I throw-up,
but I know that I need to get used to birth control
that one day, and probably soon
I'll need it.
It's 2018, and I've been active for months,
I never miss a pill
I do everything right
my routine is a well-oiled machine
I use other methods as back-up even though it isn't cheap
I've been using a period tracking app for months
and it is never wrong.
But soon I'm five days late for my period
and awake till 3 am believing that my life is over
I'm supposed to go to college in a month,
I'm supposed to be responsible
How could I be so stupid?
How could I be so irresponsible?
My period is seven days late, but it comes while I'm working
and I bleed through my clothes.
I'm a bartender now, so I tie a sweatshirt around my waist
until my mother brings me what I need.
I want to cry out in relief
and I wonder why I suffered in silence,
and might have been punished alone
even though my crimes were aided and abetted.
It is 2019 and 19 states are pushing new
intrusive abortion restrictions and "heartbeat bills"
and women protest in blood red robes and white bonnets
that hide their faces and their person-hoods
that are being degraded
in favor of the person-hood of a pea.
It is 2019, and though it is not the first time,
I feel scared to be a woman.
These are the things we were not supposed to worry about.