Prolapse: Etymology

by Lisa Allen

An upside-down pear, my doctor says. I tell her it feels like an orange. Bumpy and ridged,
like a too-new rind. Sometimes I try to push it back to where I imagine it belongs. Her brow spirals as she nods, takes notes. Talks about a sling. Not a big deal. A hammock to keep
that part where God intended. (God. When I was in high school and cramped so bad
I couldn’t stand, the doctor told my father The Pill would help. Dad objected. Suggested
a hysterectomy. She doesn’t want kids anyway. Besides, if I took The Pill I’d surely have
The Sex and God wouldn’t like that. Two men, fighting over my uterus while I watched,
a mound on that table in a gape-backed gown.  Doing nothing is a decision.  Every cramp reminded me God is watching, that the corkscrew in my innards served His greater glory.
God’s work, the babies that came later, all three glorious with stink, sticky and pure. God’s
will, the raising. God’s plan, their leaving.) Lovely idea, isn’t it? I could sleep nude again
if that urge hadn’t also slipped, as if in cahoots with the root of me, asking which pieces
plan to stay.

Lisa Allen’s work has appeared in several print and online journals as well as three anthologies. She holds MFAs in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry, both from The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, where she was a Michael Steinberg Fellow. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is a co-founder, with Rebecca Connors, of the virtual creative space The Notebooks Collective, as well as a founding co-editor of the anthology series Maximum Tilt.