by Brittany Rogers
This song is for all the women out there that been lied to by their men and I know you all been lied to over and over again. This is for y’all; yo, maybe you didn’t break the way you shoulda broke, yo but I break
Strep throat caught me for the second time
in two winters. The Doctor said my immune system was weak
because of the baby but I knew
it was that college in Ypsilanti that did it.
I got my first ‘C’ in Linguistics
cause the blonde professor with a dog whistle voice
told me “a policy is a policy” when I missed the quiz:
stomach protruding past my feet
doctor’s note and antibiotic bottle in hand.
I did not hit her or throw the desk I should have been
sitting in; Someone told me once that babies feel everything
you do. I stopped crying when he stopped coming
home. When the landlords didn’t renew the lease. When he suggested
adoption it hung in the air like a kite, the string just out
of reach. My body flinched one day, as if it knew what was coming.
Then the brand-new Mitsubishi Galant was two payments
behind, tube television, thrift store dishes and everything
else I owned stuffed in its four-door frame. When we applied
for the next apartment my husband made me file him
as head of household though I worked two jobs
while he snake-gripped my life full time.
One morning, the repoman got me. Two months later
the door had an eviction letter plastered across it a wanted
poster, all my shame strewn like dirty laundry at the curb
I was still sick sleeping on his granny’s futon
with nothing to my name but debt and a nose
spread like unkempt vines. Then
a month before she was born,
The nigga hit me.