Martyrdom is the last resort

Martyrdom is the last resort, dried fall leaves surrounding a tea rue potion

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: Alicia Vervain

This anger is cold.
Empty. Hollow.
It is not the raging fire of a forest sparking
against the black sky.

It is that sky.
It is the ash and smoke and charred meat of bodies
that have more value
than the lives they inhabit,
whose wombs carry more potential
than they themselves could
ever aspire to,
whose inalienable rights
are oh so very fragile and alien
after all.

We see you.
With glassy eyes and burnt throats,
we curse your names,
you who dictate that which you do not have
and choose not to understand,
and those of you who do,
who have betrayed your own
only to be faced with the flames

We know you.


May your body
cease to heed your every
wish or whim or need.

May every bite of sustenance turn
to maggots and ash on your tongue.

May every joy you know
wither and decay in your hands
and at your feet
like a putrid, lonely Midas.

May your dreams be nothing
but mirrors and the sick sound of
gore rent from bone
and that endless
endless dark.

May you know cataclysm
and devastation
and Apocalypse.

And when you light that next match
already held in your filthy
creeping fingers,
may you find your own flesh
to be the kindling.

We may be the monsters,
but you,
you who sit on your modern-day thrones
and make decisions that will never touch you,
you are the corrupt kings
who send your people
to die
knowing there are answers
less brutal.

So yes, I will brew teas of
cotton root bark and rue.
I’ll make oil of pennyroyal
and crush the root of black cohosh with its kin.
I am good friends with Queen Anne
and there is already
blood on the lace.

I will break your laws and my own bones
if I must,
because I promise you,
I will remove my womb from this earth
before I let you rape and reap it for your
Garden of Eden.

I may be the monster.
But you’re the ones who made me.
And I am less afraid of the fire
than you think.

This anger
is cold
and empty.
There is an echo
where my birthright
used to be.

But you cannot pluck
from a cold dead husk
that once housed

May you never
know peace

~Martyrdom is the last resort.

Alicia Vervain, 24th June 2022.

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

Text Exhale Pro-Voice:


Our confidential textline is available in the US and Canada and is staffed during the following hours:

Weekdays: 3 pm-9 pm (Pacific Time)
Saturdays: 1 pm-9 pm (Pacific Time)
Sundays: 3 pm-7 pm (Pacific Time)

Se habla español.
Due to high text volume, please expect a response within 24 hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *