Abortion with Gun Barrel
The 12 year-old walks thin, like a child/
her hair alive in vibrating threads
in the clinic light.
My daughter. I give my permission.
And the girl cannot be real, or the sky
would burn—not bleed like it does in
the waiting room of grown women.
The mother in the brittle inner office scribbles
her name small on the collapsing form.
Now move the flying hands of the counselor
who becomes the first bird,
stripping the sky blank with air leaving.
Now she walks back to the maze of illuminated
bodies to find a way to make herself dissolve:
Not what I wanted for you, not this.
In the inner body of the clinic, the divining
of this choice: the small name solid,
the songbird stopped/
the singing continues.
I am the counselor,
there are cracks in the barrel of the gun/
there is aiming/
shots of sorrow—
shots of light.
I am ruinous with light, we are ruinous with making
our lives in the procedure room.
The 12 year-old opens the leaving door—
a bird let loose, no clear note to sing.
Song of sorrow and praise as she wears
the skin of herself,
this idea of skin that she’s learning.