Yoda Olinyk


I twirl down a hallway, bright as my certainty. I approach a door,
bubblegum pink, open as a mothers’ arms. There is no guard towering

over my decision. No secret doorbell of shame. No need to whisper
a fake name. No candy-coated reasons for being here. I skip into a room wet

with comfort, where women glow with cloudless eyes. No vomit
coloured chairs, no meek coffee rattling between gnawed thumbs. A rosy

nurse delivers a mask of assurance, doesn’t question my insurance.
A lullaby doctor shelters my fear, makes a home for my hesitation, sings

you are making the right choice before pecking my arm with a gracious
syringe. I slink into a syrupy slumber and wake, feeling nothing

but relief, and my lover swaddling my choice. Outside, white men
cheer raising signs that say GOD LOVES YOU in neon glitter. At home,

I make a nest of fleecy tea and peppermint blankets and snuggle up
to the news. Today, they find a dumpster full of discarded stigma. Today,

a girl uses a coat hanger to bear her most darling dresses. Today,
my mothers’ arms are warm and wide and waiting to carry my grief.

She never mocks my loss. Never says, get over it. I do not hide
this story, do not seek counseling for months. Instead, I tuck my sadness

into pages, soothe it
until it sleeps.