She Decides About the Baby
Martha Clarkson

It was the way they latched the door
behind her. Things sliding into place.

She unbuttoned and unzipped and held out
her arms like a sleepwalker, to accept their gown.

A hammering on the other side of the wall.
How you could count on day labor.

As she hung her clothes she thought of how
a bath of blood would leave a ring.

A cousin took her sleeve but not her arm
like she was contagious with poor decisions.

How wrong it seemed when she woke craving
chocolate cake, so she asked for a red apple
skin sticking between her teeth.

In the morning there was so much less of her
she tried not to wake up.