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Poem Published in MY SAY IN THE MATTER

Happy Poetry Friday! Today, we're hosted by the fabulous Tanita S. Davis. Hop on over to their post for all the poetry goodies and a birthday celebration of becoming unbound.

Trigger Warning: this post includes topics of bodily autonomy, especially as it relates to reproductive rights

I am so, so thrilled today to share my poem "Rumble," which was published last year in MY SAY IN THE MATTER: A PRO-BODILY AUTONOMY ANTHOLOGY FOR ABORTION RIGHTS. (I also have a triptych of linked short fiction in the anthology!) Ezra Arndt edited the book, and I am delighted my words have been included with so many powerful, incredible works. All the trigger warnings apply... but this book is a scream into the void of hope and resistance. And gosh, doesn't screaming feel good sometimes?

All profits from the anthology go to support abortion rights, and you can get your own copy right here. Or, you can comment on this post to win one of my author copies! Wishing you cathartic reading and writing that heals as you create, as this poem did for me.



My body ebbs and flows,

thins and grows

and I have some choice over that—

but not much,

and your comments

are not welcome.


My body shakes when I walk,

like by the time I’ve fought through enough inertia to move

even my molecules

just can’t sit still,

and I think you mistake it for trembling.

But see this? This is me moving,

and my body rumbles.


My body hurts from the inside out,

aches just from the weight of existing,

and it can bear anything except

one more thing to carry.

And I think you know

the cuts you want to protect me from

cannot compare to the sting

of waking every day


you control the knife.


My body breathes

without your help,

and you hate that,

don’t you?


My body grows bacteria

and fungi

and viruses

and enough cells every

seven to ten years

to completely replace me.

(If we aren’t friends in seven years,

it’s because you only loved

the old me,

before my body grew its pair.)


My body doesn’t have to grow

anything else.


My body is not yours.

My body is not yours.

My body is not yours.


And when I decide to

let go of what doesn’t bring joy--

to wrinkle early

and sag into shapes

you have spent your life avoiding,

you won’t want me anymore,

will you?


Does that scare you?


My body knows

how to outlast your fear.

-Sarah Grace Tuttle


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