The morning after pill

While a student
as my ex shouted at me
down the phone
over and
over and
over and
over
it would have made a difference if I hadn’t
felt
so

alone.

At the chemist
on a soulless industrial estate
I felt desperate, afraid
and that my life
for strangers
was a game to be played.

I’m not stupid.

I didn’t choose to put
myself at risk
or decide that a kiss
or whatever came next
would lead to a choice
where I’d end up there
choking upon my own voice
as my mind kept on racing
and running away
with itself
as I worried
I’d ruined my life
and I felt sick in pain
when the counter staff made my skin crawl with the shame
that comes when you’re a person

often alone

that ends up in trouble
and has to head to a shop
that will charge you more than twenty-five quid a pop
and while they’re at it, remind you that you’re a
slut
a disgrace
someone to be shamed
as they interrogate you but don’t even ask for your name.

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