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A Gynecological History

The first time I tried to get on birth control
The doctor asked if I had been abused as a child
He said, that would explain
My promiscuity

During my first pap smear
Something didn’t seem right
So the nurse asked for second opinion
Then a third
And they all stood there
Peering inside of me
Quizzical, scrunched up faces
And a cold speculum

The results had come back
Abnormal
My boyfriend came with me
When I had the colposcopy
The doctor told him
Not to peek

I once asked a doctor about an IUD
He said, it wasn’t a good idea
IUD’s are for
Monogamous people
Oh

The doctor couldn’t understand
How I could be off birth control
While being sexually active
And not want free condoms
Until I explained
That I was a lesbian
She never thought to ask

And then I found a feminist health clinic
They removed and replaced my birth control implant
Without a fight

Asked how many prescriptions I would need
When I got chlamydia
I told them
Five
No judgement, no further questions
Friendly faces and
Do your own pelvic exams kits

They closed down last year
Unexpectedly
Due to lack
           Of funding

And, probably
           Understanding          

 

 

 


Poet’s Statement

Roe Vs. Wade was a testament to the importance of having rights over our bodies. It baffles me that we still have to fight, tooth-and-nail, to retain or expand those rights, but having a voice means we can continue that fight. Having a voice is an opportunity to humanize the body that has become a political battlefield.

Editor’s Statement

Torres’ “A Gynecological History” is written in free verse that relies heavily on caesura as a metronome for the speaker’s narrative. Torres’ dispassionate recounting of medical discrimination is an intentional mimicry of the clinical, overly flippant way in which folx are regarded by their doctors.

Bio and Links

Photo of Poet Keyko Torres

Keyko Torres is a community organizer in Sacramento, Ca for the Gender Health Center, a grassroots non-profit that is committed to healthcare access and advocacy for the Trans and Queer community. She is a queer latinx activist who serves on the board of Sacramento Takes Back the Night and is co-directing the 2018 Vagina Monologues in Sacramento. Her passions include producing Sacramento's only feminist music festival; Sac Ladyfest and performing in Backyard Broadway productions with her friends. Shes a writer,  poet, artist, a fighter, survivor, and friend. 

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