“life is sacred”

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I love my father very much
but when he said that all life began
at conception,
I felt like I had an unwanted child in my belly—not yet
a child—an alien

and he said I must birth it
and carry it with me,
let its rattle beat away my personality
until it is one shade: Motherhood
Always

I felt disgusted. The loves of my life
will be my children, I know. But daily
I wait for the condom to break
the ring to malfunction
the pill to disintegrate before it reaches my mouth

and my lover’s seed to flow into my vulnerable uterus and attack my baffled egg, who can’t fight him off
and my boyfriend will say
“Life is sacred.”