Anna B. Sutton

The Women’s Clinic in Antioch, TN

On the outskirts of Nashville, behind
the hospital, a little house. Brick ranch
with a half-moon drive, vertical blinds

just visible behind narrow windows, tinted
and bulletproof. Because there’s a picket fence
of protesters; because there’s a city full

of god-fearing folks who’ve taught their children
to hate us; because there are a thousand
tiny white crosses planted on the front lawn

of my grade school. I came to worship here,
at the wall of glass and the security guard
behind it, to make my confession, to take

my communion with this congregation
of women—not mothers, not us. The body
of Christ repels her
. I came to be absolved

by the humming machine—
Its cleansing arm extracts a piece of me
that wouldn’t even flicker on the screen.

absuttonAnna B. Sutton is a poet from Nashville, TN. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she worked for Lookout Books. She is on staff at John F. Blair Publisher, a co-founder of the Porch Writers’ Collective, web editor for One Pause Poetry, and on the editorial team at Gigantic Sequins and Dialogist journals. She recently received a James Merrill fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Barrow Street, DIAGRAM, Superstition Review, Weave Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Third Coast, and other journals.