Getting an IUD the Day of the 2017 Inauguration



My body is a flag across the table.

      I am spreading my legs because

            this is what women do. My body

isn’t sure it wants to

      carry this, but my body has been bleeding

            for two months, a period of patriotism,

though my colors run.

      From above, what you see are three women

            in a room, two fully clothed, one in a paper

gown on a table. The one in a paper

      gown is a flag, her feet in metal stirrups.

            What she doesn’t know is tomorrow.

What she doesn’t know is how many of us

      there are until we all show up.

            A woman holds the device to slip inside me,

to stop the bleeding, to stop the babies,

      to offer the progesterone my body

            is refusing to make. My body is a flag woven

in the metaphysics of bleeding. How to sew

      a perfect woman. How to hem

            a menstrual flow. In my paper gown,

the doctor tells me there may be a little pain

      for next four years,

            while the nurse comforts—her hand

on my arm while another woman inserts

      her hand, a speculum, the device,

            inside me. My body is a ragged flag,

worn but still flying.