Early Options

Every woman has a bump under her shirt
when you think you’re pregnant,
you start to hear crying in the streets and coffee
shops and storefronts and buses—
they’re are all begging to be fed.
Changed. Read to. Desperate for milk, grasping
at love with wild hands.
The city throbs,

the last stop on the train.
The word is hard, gunshot fired
from a rooftop, a dead
president, a quick and easy slit
to the throat. It’s supposed to sound
gentler than abortion: Termination.

Everyone has two cents to contribute.
I ask the doctor if this will hurt
my chances for later—No, you will find yourself as you were,

unafraid to stand on ice, cross glacier,
a cave with so much space for light.

Read on . . .

Tankas” by Victoria Chang