by Evan

September 10, 2018

I thought lemons only grew in warm climates

I wonder what made you choose my rain

You started like a hangover

Bubbling within me

I thought you were nothing, then

When hiding your rattling behind clouds of smoke

I thought you nothing

When the minty bite of a stick of gum

Sent me sprinting

Stomach flipping somersaults

To lose my lunch

Before shuffling back to work

But you were persistent

Every morning

And if I moved at all

Or stood for too long

Or smelled something

Or saw something

You kicked up trouble

And demanded my attention

You screamed and spun

And threw tantrums

Your fingers tangled my intestines

Your feet planted in my focus

And I couldn’t let you go

We joke about it

Never us

Never me

Never this

The lady at the drugstore scanned me up and down

Before ringing me up

And tossing the brown bag across the counter

Which I grab with clumsy hands

And rush home

I find myself shaking the stick

And scouring the information

I take four more tests

And ace them all with flying colors

I thought lemons only grew in warm climates

I thought I’d purged the Florida from my body

With weekly injections and clothes from the men’s section

My mind reels out of the moment

And I think of every tropical climate

Housed and held within

Beautiful beings

I think of all the lemon trees

Those whose tiny ecosystems are prepared with care

Those for whom the womb is safe and steady and stable

I think of every fight fought

On every front for every belief

Those who work tirelessly to create space within themselves

Those who pound fists against the doors constructed to keep them from sunlight

Those for whom it is a journey

A struggle

A quest

I think of every terrified teen, confronted with adulthood too early

I think of bodies left shaking, bloodied, only to discover their trauma planted seeds

I think of my own reckless nights

Falling drunkenly into strange beds

And all the times I only avoided this through


And that blue cross swims back into my vision

When I tell my partner

No question in our minds of the next step

He reminds me when can never tell his family

God looms large

And teaches some that the sunlight of the womb is sacred

God shakes fingers

And sends floods

And we all hear so often about the “sanctity of life”

How seedlings must be allowed to grow and bloom

How these defenseless creatures must be loved and protected

I find myself using the word compassion

More than I have in years

As my rainy life puzzles through the reality of this newfound space

And papers and medical reminders pile on my coffee table

One day I wrote out my reason

And amid lists of finances

And time management

And ideologies

And climate

One phrase jumps

Planned Parenthood asked for my pronouns.


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