Unprotected sex is a woman in America.
Unprotected sex is a woman in the world.
My body is my temple and will always be
it is not some place where you go to pray
it is not your place to decide how and whether
it should be shaped and changed
it is not ‘open for business’
for you to come inside and go as you please
it is not for you to discern
how much protection it deserves
and regardless of how many terms you serve
it will shed and it will bleed
so let it bend, let it breathe, just let it be.
Since my body, my temple
became a piece of legislation
it has protested every attempt to enslave it
and it will stop at nothing to stop the violence
it calls a ceasefire, a plea for peace
it calls for help and for relief, reprieve
it will not be silenced.
If my body held a sign
if my body itself could speak
it would chastise those who exploit and stigmatize
a woman’s insides, a woman’s insight
a woman’s inherent right
to give birth to new life
or to terminate when she feels it is right for her
not for you, not for me
it would not compromise to ease the tension
or give false power to your religion, blaspheme
it would not suffer by choice
in the name of freedom, in the name of God
or some illusive American dream.
It would not harm another soul
it would disarm, usurp control
and honor itself, your honor
it is time to give back what you stole.
My body is my temple
but under your laws it seems doomed
women forced to risk their lives
to abort, however viable, rape or not
the choice should be mine, not yours
nine months of my life
the rising cost of raising children
the fringe benefits of fostering the system
the abuse of silent witnesses
the battered by belligerence
the inability to adequately care
the substances that impair
those born infected, affected
lacking access to prenatal care
so they just consume.
If my body could speak, it would say
who do you think you are?
to fondle the folds of my flesh with your articles
to penetrate my right with the stroke of your pen
to procreate or terminate
to bring to term or masturbate
to bleed and shed and do it all over again.
My body is my temple
and when it’s laid to rest
it will not be buried under laws
that kept me from what I felt was best
it will not be from some unsanitary procedure
in some dark alley in black of night
it will not be from complications
because you made it shameful
to ask for help in broad daylight.
Your grotesque images plastered
to picket signs, forced into too-small hands
to make a point, doesn’t make it right
the point is this, my body is my temple
for me to love, to behold, in which to delight.