i’m so sick
of this marketing campaign
to make marriage and child bearing
seem like the utmost a woman may attain
beyond a degree from college

as if life will be as breezy and pristine
as a morning talk show segment

where they tell you how happy and excited
you should feel over a pretty princess wedding dress
so expensive it could feed a third world county
for a week
and the promise of stainless steel appliances
to follow

yes begin your life indebted
spend thirty grand on the ceremony and reception
spare no expense
as it will be one of the last days you’ll feel pretty

thoughts of how lovely
the bridesmaids looked
and the lemon raspberry cake
will carry you through those moments
of doubt
as you scrub the grass stains out of your loving husband’s socks
and his feces from under the rim of the toilet

while he sits in his recliner
waiting for dinner
feeling trapped

give up the dreams you had
the day you signed up for freshman english
make no mistake
a career comes second
your job is to give life to new consumers

focus on the best diaper pail
to contain your little angel’s shit smell

find the most realistic bottle feeding system
for when your nipples are too cracked and bloody to be suckled

that
should be enough
to feel fulfilled

and pretty please with sugar on top
buy into all the hype about how giving birth
is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever experience

at home or in a hospital
submerged in water
or perched upon
the latest designer
baby crapping equipment

you will feel like the belle of the ball
as you vomit over the bedside
shit and piss yourself as you push push push
and experience the magic
of your flesh ripped apart
from your vagina to your asshole

and as soon as those stitches heal
back on your horse, cowgirl

go back to work because
you’re not a woman if you can’t manage
this domestic three ring circus

leave your baby at a daycare for ten hours a day
you’ll be sure it’s the next best thing
to a baby bonding with its mother

yes, young lady
it will all be perfect

until the first
grade school diagnosis
mistress
mass lay-off
and house fire

makes you question
why you didn’t run away
from the altar screaming