At nine weeks, slant shadows pull across
the stained floor of the outpatient clinic.
Dirty blinds shield the cracked window
putting out the lit cigarette of horizon.
I imagine how a soul enters the body.
How we sweated off winter, on carpet
or couch. How our tossed sheets became
my Tuesday afternoon appointment. I--
imagine the drawbridge to my future.
I imagine us, living in your parent’s
Michigan basement. I imagine having
enough wire—to hang myself.
Outside, pro-life chants thunder
like a psalm of drills—I also pray:
an empty meditation upon the nothing.
My modicum of truth. I sign the fine print,
pay the requisite blood. A volunteer nurse
walks me out. I puke in the parking lot.
Tell work I can’t come in. Sunset slowdrags
against dusk’s lining. Heavy rain recoils off
my Honda’s dusty windshield. I drive
the familiar stretch edged with the small shrines
that memorialize car accidents. My little
fugue—You’re no one, I’ll pine after
Karla Lamb is a Chicana poet, with work appearing or forthcoming in A Women’s Thing Magazine, The Shallow Ends, Yes Poetry, Word Riot, Coal Hill Review, Fine Print Press, Dream Boy Book Club, & elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology 2019, & translated in Revista La Peste. She co-hosts Charla Cultural, a bilingual podcast centering underrepresented literary artists. Lamb lives in L.A. with her cat Fulano. More at karlalamb.com & @vinylowl.