Three Poems
Alissa Paynick


I can still picture all of the women
I came across at the abortion clinic
They were all there for the same reason I was
I sat there sweating and sick
2 bananas and an English muffin
Were not enough
I spent my pregnancy
Hiding in my room
Or getting hit on at a laundromat
My best friend was gone
My boyfriend was gone
My future plans were to move into a basement
A week following my procedure
I would also be starting a new job
And I didn’t know it then but soon I’d find out
I was being cheated on the entire time
My body didn’t feel like it was mine
I went from feeling sexy and getting fucked
To crying during sex and
Dreaming about chicken wings
The whole time I sat in the waiting room
I tried not to puke
Would they really be so surprised if I did?
All of the women there were so different
I don’t know why that surprised me
When I first had my ultrasound
I found out I was pregnant with twins
All I could do was laugh
Like I needed another reason to do this
I told her to get them out of me
She had kids but she laughed anyway
My mother told me about the abortion she had
Before she had my brother and me
She sent me $50 in the mail
I think to help cover the bill
I spent it on groceries
After my procedure I left feeling so happy
And like everything would go back to normal
I was high as fuck on pain pills
I laid in bed all day eating microwaveable meals
Watching documentaries on adoption
Just to confirm I did the right thing
I still think about all those women at the clinic
I still think I’m pregnant when it’s impossible
I still flick off pro-life protestors
I still wonder what my dad would think
I still track how old they would be
And I am still glad I don’t have children
I remember picking you up from a bar
I think I picked you flowers
I remember you slamming my head
Into my driver’s side window
You were drunk
That night I slept in a Get Go parking lot
Because you tried to strangle me to death
I woke up with apologies in my pocket
I remember getting real dressed up
For your best friend’s wedding
At the art museum
We left in a taxi
We went home where you choked me
Over the catering leftovers
Which I sweet talked the bartender to get
I walked our dog in the park the next morning
Wearing the scarf you bought me
From Giant Eagle Market District
It looked like someone’s stomach lining
I think that’s all you ever wanted from me
My insides
Ripped out through my throat
I don’t remember my mother being around
I thought my mom was a light that woke me up
We shared a closet
She worked early
I thought my mom was the smell of lotion
It clung to her legs more than I
These are the memories I have
I think she went missing when she met my dad
A shell of a human who was always at work
Escaping my dad
The jerk
My mom was
A beautiful flower kept in the dark
Now, my mom is the light that wakes me up
And I can smell my mom on my skin
The day after I shower
And we both purse our lips
When we scowl
Usually from
Letting men like my father
Take all our power