Lydia Havens

Poem for my Week-Old Nexplanon

I named you after every science fiction film
I haven’t seen yet. I named you after all
of my dormant fears. I named you after
every newborn shade of purple-green-yellow

my forearm will change to in the first week
and a half. Maybe you aren’t as terrifying
as all of that, but goddamn, I am terrified.
The woman at Planned Parenthood asked me

when I first started having intercourse and called me
smart when I told her I actually hadn’t yet,
but I wanted you now just in case. Maybe
I don’t need to be tricking my gullible body

into thinking I’m pregnant for 4 years.
Maybe this will be for nothing, and I will always
be safe. But I don’t want to wait and see.
Four years is enough time to raise a college degree.

To kill a plant, or 7. To pass countless
bills and laws written by men who’d ask
for my bra size before asking for my name
if we were ever in the same dive-bar. Who’d testify

that I was the one asking for it. But I don’t want
to wait and see. They’ll remove you from my left arm
on November 22, 2020. That doesn’t sound like
a real year in my head. This whole scenario

didn’t sound real in my head 3 months ago.
I’ll be 22 in 2020. They’ll host the Olympics
in Tokyo. My grandparents will have been married
for 60 years. Another election will have just ended.

To think: I wasn’t even considering birth control
when I woke up on November 8. I was scared,
but not scared enough. I didn’t believe any of this
was real. I thought I could just wait and see.


Lydia Havens is a poet and teaching artist currently living in Boise, Idaho. Her work has previously been published in Winter Tangerine, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, The Fem, and Voicemail Poems, among other places. She was the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam Youth Champion, and is the author of Survive Like the Water (Rising Phoenix Press, 2017). You can find out more at