Infertility Compendium

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We were named witches, the talked about, the barren, wombs twisted, possessed by Nirrti, Goddess of Destruction, our bodies drubbed by bloody goat-skin. Unnaturally fat, tight cervix, weakened by not giving birth, they covered us in pessaries, cumin, resins, and pity.

We had our fertility tested sitting on the earth, drenched in beer, force-fed dates until we vomited or did not.

Devil poisoned seed. Wandering metra. We drank the cures: urine, the blood of pregnant animals, ate powdered boar penis, the hind paws of weasels.

We fasted, took holy waters, prayed for intercession to our patron Saint Anne, infertile for years, who carried the virgin Mary in her womb—deliver us from a desolate place, the palm tree stems are broken, the leaves brown, and the silence, oh, the silence.

“Infertility Compendium”: Thorpe, JR. “How We’ve Talked About Infertility Through History.” Bustle, April 14, 2015.