Janel Brubaker


I remember blood dripping down my legs in hot, sticky clumps dispelled ferociously. I remember pressure, intense and piercing. I remember pain indescribable in my lower abdomen and across my back, lightning bolts in my muscles. I remember the urge to urinate, though I only produced blood; blood that hurt to lose, blood that hurt to hold in. I remember the painkillers, and that they did nothing to kill my pain. I remember him asking me if I was okay, and the doubt in his eyes when I said yes. I remember laughing as if nothing was amiss, as if I wasn’t a destroyer, involuntarily murdering the child in my womb. I remember I ate sweet and sour chicken, the sauce sticky and warm and red like the river between my thighs. I remember being sick and never eating sweet and sour chicken again. I remember the night of conception, how loud and long we fucked, carefree and reckless, untouched by grief. I remember writhing on the floor as my first pregnancy was aborted by nature. I remember feeling as if the unborn was scratching, clawing at the inside of me, vengefully leaving its mark, hidden scars perpetually felt but never seen. I remember tears and screams, anger and guilt. I remember hate.

Janel Brubaker recently graduated from Clackamas Community College with her associates in English and Creative Writing. She worked as a student assistant editor for the Clackamas Literary Review for the 2015 and 2016 editions. She has been published in Sick Lit Magazine and Ancient Paths Online. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in Creative Writing from Marylhurst University.

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