Francesca Bell

In Which Mary Advises You to Have the Abortion

In the beginning,

every last one of them

overshadows like a god.

Their flesh, with its insistent power

of resurrection, rends easily

your inadequate membrane,

silly shroud that surrenders

as destiny is foisted upon you.


A woman’s door is always ajar.


A child makes itself at home,

swelling you, as death does

the body, leaving it belching

and bloated. Be it not unto me,

you’ll beg, to drag this weight

through the marketplace,

made to love what excruciates.

Undo the indelible.

Speak your belated No

to the great god—

His rigidity, His swarming,

innumerable spermatozoa.



“In Which Mary Advises You to Have the Abortion” first appeared in burntdistrict.