Skip to page content
Return to Top


Emryse Geye



i am not pregnant.

it feels like i never was.

the blood between my thighs

means more than the pregnancy

test i threw out with last month’s

trash. it is a good thing.

my mama says good catholic girls wait.

i never said i was a good catholic girl.

and graduation isn’t that far away.

i think i will be the first girl in my family

to walk across that stage.

so there. i am not backing down.

i am full of freedom.

but my life is ruined

by the secret that

choked inside

of me.




girls get pregnant.

guys just don’t.

it’s her fault.

she took off my clothes

she pulled me onto her bed

she pulled me onto her 

she didn’t ask for a rubber so

I didn’t offer.

girls get pregnant.

she wanted this.

it sounds harsh, but

it’s not my fault. and

I don’t want anything to do with

her. or it.

she can do what she wants. if

she doesn’t want it,

she can get rid of it.

it has nothing to do with me.

girls get pregnant.

I am full of youth.

I can’t be tied down

with this.


when I was sixteen,

I met this boy.

you have no idea

what kinds of things

my mother said:

another black girl

throwin’ her life away.

but I had a child.

and she is

the greatest part of me.

but this is different:

she is mine.

she is mine.

she is mine.

I am full of love for her.

but I have said all of the same things.

and if I ever get my hands on that boy

I will kill him.


i am pregnant.

my belly is swollen.

my pants no longer fit.

i vomit at the smell of


i am pregnant.

my body is no longer mine.

i gave it to a boy as a gift

and then he ran away.

i am pregnant.

the staff look at me

like my mother does.

the girls stare and point,

aiming pity and disgust.

the boys applaud themselves,

their gender.

eyes mark me:


i am pregnant.

my life is no longer mine.

it belongs to

the creature inside me.

but i will not let anyone

fill me with shame.


They are so




I tell them that sex causes



the end of their lives

I know everyone has sex.

Maybe not now.

Probably now.

I am full of lies.

If I say

condoms are your best choice

sex is a natural part of love

there can be life after childbirth

I’m gone.

Instead I walk the halls

ignoring the rounded bellies of the girls.

I cannot let them be my fault.


girls get pregnant.

but boys cause it.

i caused it

i’ve had sex with other girls but

i got her pregnant&

i love her. &our baby.

how cool is it to say ‘our?’

how scary?

we’re going to the doctor’s tomorrow morning.

she tells her father tomorrow evening.

we can’t hide it anymore.

i don’t know if we can do it.

i don’t think we are strong enough.

i am full of fear.


I have delivered

three thousand

six hundred




I have learned that

no matter

how old

how prepared

how experienced

every woman that gives birth

looks too young.

They are all

just as scared

just as pale.

They all look like

this girl

discovering the joy of a baby’s




using it to smother the fear

of her own father.

No one glows.

I prescribe

I treat

I bring life.

I wonder if I am doing wrong.

I am full of doubt.


I am full of love for my family.

I love my wife.

I have loved her always.

I gave my life to her.

I did not know her completely

until our wedding night.

In the name of the Lord.

To create a child.

We raised her well.

Instilled our values.

Loved her.

For her fourteenth birthday

I gave her a little silver ring:

True Love Waits.

I am not stupid.

I know


starts early.

She will fix this.

And if I ever get my hands on that boy.

I will kill him.


i am not pregnant

but i was

half an hour ago

my father waits

alone in the car

he will never tell

anyone about this

what God’s people

do not know

cannot hurt them i

cannot be hurt:

i am full of empty


i am full of life.