‘Post Abortion Questionnaire-Powered by Survey Monkey’ by Susan Rich​​

— Hannah Cohen

If I could unhinge myself from myself,
attach to bookshelves, sever
my tongue, I would watch

It has been less than a year since I graduated from my beloved MFA program, and during that time, I worked on their print journal called Qu. Scrolling through my MFA friends’ social media feeds, I decided to look at the works Qu recently published. Susan Rich’s poem is immediately affecting with the title alone—however, the combination of the poem’s format and form truly leaves me reeling. How each italicized question at the beginning of the stanza enhances or detracts from the following lines requires no explanation. “Do you feel guilt or sorrow when discussing your own abortion? / The cabbage is a blue rose” is the perfect example of the poem’s ability to blend the objective and subjective.

‘Post Abortion’ exists in the rare space where time and pain “tumble down the mountain / precipice” without stopping. Each time I re-read this poem, I become hyper-aware of my own vulnerabilities and exposures, ultimately echoing the poem’s truth: “[i]f my own voice falters, tell them / I tried not to live inside the clock / or under the skin of pomegranates.”


Qu