My womb’s been furiously heartbroken lately
for the generation of women
whose rights were swept off the table into the salty hands
of regressive extremists who pointed to fertile vessels and cackled mine-mine-mine.
Although my womb is out of the game
it still has strong, sassy feelings about pro-choice
and the sovereign territory of women’s bodies.
There is no room in wombs for the government
And wombs are independent anyway
Well, they should be.
Well, they used to be.
Well, they should be.
Besides my rage and dismay, I have so many questions.
If something already has an owner, is it not theft to plant a flag and legislate its activity?
If women’s wombs are regulated, what part of men’s bodies are cuffed and chained?
What about the right to privacy between a patient and her healthcare provider?
Do snitches get stitches?
Will there be GoFundMe’s for those who can’t afford to get to pro-choice states?
Are Abortion Vacations a thing now or will travel bans kick-in to nix them?
Why do women help men hurt women?
Who’s going to foot the bill for food, housing, healthcare and daycare for the involuntary population growth?
How will rapists pay child support from prison?
What kind of mothers will women forced to bear children be?
Do we have enough therapists for next-gen moms and children?
How did Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) know?
I have so many questions.
Nursing hope that Roe’s tragic reversal will give rise to a new group of pro-choice activists is unsatisfying and voting is not everything. Maybe, it’s not anything, but what’s the apathetic alternative?
I dream, instead, of millions of women descending on the Supreme Court building,
Naked with jewel-adorned and tattooed abdomens
Blowing whistles, howling
Stomping feet, waving protest signs
Moaning spoken-word spirituals
or at the verse from that Erykah Badu song, Certainly, where she defiantly asks “Who gave you permission to rearrange me?”
Certainly not me, the crowd would respond in a deafening chorus.
I dream of women taking vows of celibacy, because if men get to freely make babies that they have to have, sex is too expensive.
Clamping down on women’s self-care, loving and reproductive choices is dangerous business. Women will rebel. They will take back their bodies in stunning ways.
In the absence of clear, healthy resources, desperate gamblers will enter the shadows and carve out possibilities.
Freedom is not free, so I hope the fight is furious too.
I hope somewhere Beyonce, Taylor Swift and some new songbird with grit are teaming up on a war song about how whatever a woman decides to do in her own body is a deeply personal choice no matter who says it’s not,
about realizing that fertile women (and girls) might need to carry a knife, taser or learn hand-to-hand combat if they don’t have a devoted, but vicious dog to keep predators from implanting babies of violation,
about the five dishonorable justices who did this needing t-shirts that say “Never mind, we had no right.”
about refusing to lie with any man who is not a womb ally, pro-choice, pro-YOU since he doesn’t deserve your treasures if he won’t fiercely protect them.
Forget about the smoky voice and sexy smile, choose a freedom lover
who will not let the sanctity of wombs be marginalized or lost to memory,
because the world is upside down and women shouldn’t have to be the only acrobats.
© 2022 nailah shami