Post-Roe By Ava Chen


Elephant in the room, Canadian border
jokes aside; wrench your ruddy Justice-
spittle out of 170 million bodies. We leave
our one home to surge the downtown
intersection, buffeted by hive theory but
rooted by ideology gathered visceral.
Maelstrom, cacophony of generated
countenances whirl by. Zoetrope stitched
sparse: peace signs and somersaulting
birds and twisty lips gummy with
dollar store chapstick. Mutual nods,
manufactured ignorance. Gilead was spun,
but so was everything we’ve known in this
backwards place. Last week, a Brazilian
senior unwove powdery ropes we’ve
acquiesced for 2.5 centuries, peeling
our glycerin masks to the jaundiced
legitimacy of the Constitution. I held a
beating fish heart in my hands once.
Eulogy, euthanasia, euphemization of a
barely-nascent bundle of cells: worth more
than a 10-year-old child, warm future
guttering ahead. A struggling mother barely
sustaining 4 children. A rape victim ripped
gruesome on their way home from work.
A scarlet ectopic pregnancy. We plant
our bare feet in loam, raze construction
paper onto windshields, inked synesthetic
by raw flame. We hold breath at knifepoint
until the fraying yarn netting public to
government fully cleave, or pull Hughes
out of his grave and reverse festering entropy
towards the people. Towards what Puritans
screamed for in the dead of the Atlantic.
Towards the iron links grafting our sweaty
hearts thumping the same anguish;
broken as a record, broken as an American.

By Ava Chen


Ava Chen is a 16-year-old poet based in Massachusetts. Her work is forthcoming in Scapegoat Review and The Daphne Review. When not writing, she can usually be found taking long walks or rewatching Christopher Nolan movies.

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