If you sign here, no mas
dolor, it takes away the pain, if you don’t,
your baby might die, Maria says
on the PBS documentary, describing the coercion
at the LA County hospital in the seventies.
Women went in to have babies.
They left sterilized.
Afterwards, the night sky scatters grieving women
denied the human right to bear a child,
they are dusted in despair.
The seeds of bloom are shattered
across the American landscape.
In my dream, Maria sits at the river’s edge.
Her baby has sprouted calla lilies on its head.
She snaps one off, uses its turgid spike
to sweep the bottom of the riverbank
for dried up eggs. Her starved alma
drinks the yolks to slake its thirst,
refilling what’s been pillaged from her body.
A shooting star burns the sky with silver rain.
Her case was brought to trial, long overdue.
Spitting blood of unborn babies
the judge proclaimed,
the cultural background of these women
contributed to the problem.
I scream at the news, I slap the choking air,
his words, venom, spewing from a headless snake.
I channel Maria’s stomping foot nailing him down.
Does our language, color or background
make us less valuable, Maria?
No, alma. They had no right.
The calla lily stands for resurrection.
We can blossom once again with grace