Every fifth Sunday, I go to the pharmacy and wait for the nice man in the white coat

to get me my birth control. I do this every fifth Sunday because even though it’s ready

by Tuesday, I ignore all the CVS courtesy calls and forget to go until I’m out of pills.

Every month it’s the same,

the little blue cardboard sleeve

the blister pack with the little blue pills

and the little white pills

and the little green pills

four perfect rows of seven,

an untouched month of potential.


Four perfect rows of seven

that I haven’t yet fucked up.


Four perfect rows of seven.

No pills suspended on Wednesdays when I forgot to take them,

no punched in days from my hurried thumbs,

no bent weeks, no broken foil,

nothing out of place,

no days of eating too much,

or staying up too late,

or talking too loud,

or acting too crazy—


No shame, yet.


Some days I can’t swallow my pills. Some days

they sit on my tongue

and they taste like regret.

I try to fill my empty space with water and hormones that stop me from bleeding too much

but the pain finds its way out in other places.


I’m always starting over, starting over, starting over.




The first time I kissed a girl

outside of spin the bottle,

I’m talking the first time I kissed a girl

I stopped taking my birth control

as an act of queer rebellion.

I started imagining our sex life first,

tender and easy and insatiable,

and then I started imagining our wedding,

one of us wearing white lace and the other in black,

colored tuxes for my best man and Mx. of honor,

how elegant and precious it would all look,

how subversive.


And so I stopped taking my pills

because I wanted to kiss this girl! I wanted to sleep next to this girl!

I wanted to have sex with this girl!

and I imagined the sweet liberation of two vaginas in a bed

and no pregnancy to be afraid of.


but I was so afraid!


and maybe if I made some symbolic gesture

I would actually follow through.




When I stopped taking my birth control cold,

or maybe when I started kissing this girl

(as I said, they coincided),

I felt more like myself than I had felt in years.

My imbalanced hormones clawed back into my body, giving me the

polarized experience of my younger self:

volatile and weepy and screechy and


The pills had never cured my acne like they were supposed to.

They’d just dampened the red in my blood.


Now it was back, vindictive.

I wasn’t sure which way was up or down

or right or wrong

but every caffeinated moment was thrilling.

I felt dangerously alive.




The night I finally had sex with the first girl I kissed

it was squishier than I’d imagined.

She almost fell off the bed

because I couldn’t keep my arms and legs inside the vehicle.

Have you ever tried to take off someone else’s skinny jeans?

Bras without hooks are hard to remove from your own body

but my god what a mess to try to remove them from someone else’s.


I had missed my period the week before.

I didn’t get another one for four months after.

It was like my body had forgotten about that reproduction thing

that fertilization thing

that straight thing.




I almost wished I were a straight-up lesbian

so I didn’t have to go back on birth control

the next time I saw the gynecologist.


Where there are cis men involved,

there are rules to be followed and pills to be swallowed,

ones that muffle my spirit while they prevent pregnancy.

I don’t want to have a child

but I do want my roller coaster of a demeanor.

I want my racecar acceleration,

my ambulance heart.