Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Abortion (Like Motherhood) Changes Nothing

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I am a cunt, and the folds of my face
are purple. My mouth, delicate and moist,
a pale pink.
Like your tongue, like the roof
of your mouth my throat
arcs gently, while
all around me pulses
my heart (the pump
of power, the vibrant
juices). At the base of my throat
is an organ, the organ
is growing, it swells
from lemon to orange to melon
as the long days pass. Here
at the base of my throat
life and death are meeting
for a hot red time.

Life and death are meeting
at the base of my throat, i do not
scream, i do not
gurgle. Life and death
are cavorting, and when
all is done,
both of them, all of us,
back down the throat to
the lip of my face,
out into the world
of men --

off to
meander again.
The organ forgotten reduces
to her virgin size; my self
slips back to the usual
uncondensed form;
and my cunt,
she is returned to
a shadowy half-known place,
off along
the tenuous edge
of being.
My face

remembers her eyes, her nose
and ears, her taste buds.
My face
speaks well, again, in places, in that

stilted human tongue.

Joanne Arnott Zenthoefer is mother to six children, all born at home and ranging in age from three years to twenty, and lives with her family on the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including An Anthology of Native Canadian Literature in English (Third Edition); her most recent book is Steepy Mountain: love poetry. A collection of new and selected poetry, Mother Time — her sixth book — is forthcoming from Ronsdale Press.

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