By Syd Shaw

“I never felt much about it either way, but the doctors told me after that I should. they told me you might be haunted by this, you might cry, and they looked at me with the expectation that I would start crying, and I didn’t. you know, I talked to other women, and they didn’t cry either. it felt like a dream, or a really bad period. I remember the nurse telling me to look, and I did. I thought she wanted to punish me. but I was curious so I looked and all I saw was a peanut. hard to love a peanut. relief, that was what I mainly felt, and a sense of being lied to. they say it’s horrible, after all, but for me it was escape, it was freedom, it was a few cramps and then euphoria. walking out of the clinic, I started to giggle, even. I laughed a laugh that echoed through my empty belly, and I threw up some crackers that night, and the next day I walked to the park and fed the birds and belonged to myself again.”

Syd Shaw (she/they) writes about love, witchcraft, and body horror. Syd is Assistant Poetry Editor at Passengers Journal. Their publications include Cathexis Northwest, Ember Chasm, Coffin Bell Journal, Waxing & Waning, and  Eclectica Magazine, among others. Their work can be found at

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