free clinic


my appointment was scheduled
my white-man-last-name was
called at 3:00
I consent after all it is free
expecting a quick visit since
I only came for a birth
control shot
Ma’am, have you had sex
within the last week?

NO. Jumped from my mouth as if
my mother was beside me
my very first free clinic visit my mother said
Once you’ve started you will not stop
birth control was my only option
my father's’ unrecognizable voice
echoed through the phone with disapproval
he always disapproved of me
but my mother called him
to make the ego feel masculine
make man feel important and somehow involved
after all, it is free
the Cuban nurse from Miami
interested herself in me,
my diet, and my need for condoms
her hair was silky,she had a few grays
but they seemed to fit, her jewelry was gold
office covered in family photos
with the family dog the American way
her ring finger suffocated by
rings awarded to her from the
husband of 40 years
she admitted they stayed together
so long because she overlooked everything
eyes sharp looking into my
as to say; this is what you must do
she rubbed her hands together
After you’ve sacrificed to the
bone for someone, you don’t
give them away
If you sacrifice eyes
you may enjoy the fruit of your labor
the Cuban way
the shot was painless as my
ascetic existence grew perplexed
why am I here being shot with synthetic hormones
for a guy who ran off, a guy whose baggage
I couldn’t overlook, for a guy who is somewhere
letting someone nourish
themselves on the fruit of my labor

Vonkeisha Gibson is from Jacksonville Florida. She is a public relations student at Florida A&M University. She plans to attend graduate school after the completion of her degree. Accepting the call of poetry, she hopes to utilize her art as political rebellion.  One day she plans to become vegan in order to be legitimized in the poetry community.