The Host

“However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it to remain alive.” – Senator Martin of Virginia via Facebook

By no choice of my own,
I was given the right to child-
bearing hips and shapely
breasts, housing empty glands
meant to ease suckling young.
Shall I let you berate my organs
with your politics and Bible-verses?
Tell me my body is dirty if touched,
but give me no say in staying clean.
Tell me who and what to give
my womb to. Tell me I am built
for seed, and sowing my crops
means creating another, means
being the caretaker my sex entails:
warm, fleshy walls for a parasite
to suck my body dry, to take away
what I own. To ravage my insides.
To ruin the temple of my skin.
Shall I get on my knees, welcome
your savior sperm into me?
Shall I make you a spiteful stew?
Play house and call you Honey,
put aside my wants for your needs:
that a woman’s duty is nothing
but a machine to produce men.
Call me useless when childless.
Damn that Y chromosome
that wouldn’t stick in utero.
If so, I might’ve been given
space for this weighty body
that you want to be smaller.
Damn the dresses you make me wear,
the way you make my voice mute,
and how you tell me I’m a fragile,
weak doll meant for ogling men.
Call me a host, call me a bearer,
a vessel for the ruins of man’s sin.
But I am a host to many things:
to life, to love, to pleasure, to words,
to many things you can’t comprehend,
and no one deserves to be labeled
an empty jar that needs filling.
No one deserves degradation for being.

Roxy Seay is a Tallahassee, Florida native who was happily transplanted to New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University and completed her MFA at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She was previously published in Poetry In Motion Publishing House’ anthology Poems to Fuck To. She’s a self-proclaimed, high-functioning procrastinator who spends too much time watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, thinking about how huge the universe is, and hanging out in coffee shops and dive bars.