poetry and visual art by Melissa Dias-Mandoly




an erasure of the oral transcripts of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt


with respect

the woman

with her—her access


But where

—in the language


She has come back

now, from


How many other people?



the woman is back

at home: the nearest nothing

the center


What they're trying to say:

the remaining

will lack


Justice: I want to know

go back in time

to the period

where will I find the doctor


Which were the women?

tell me their names,

and why


: that is not in the record





an erasure of the opinion of the court of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt


The “cost of coming into compliance”

for existing is significant


[s]ome unable to “comply

due to physical size limitations.”


The “cost of acquiring land

and constructing a new compliant.”


determined to seek abortion

admitting the right


of women to seek abortion

legally a constitutionally “impermissible access.”





an erasure of the opinion of the court of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt


First, invalidation by severability


say that “every provision, section, subsection,

sentence, clause, phrase, or word

and every Act are severable

from each other.”


if “any Act to any person, group

of persons, or circumstances

is found invalid,

all other persons shall sever

and may not be affected.”


language narrowly tailored

to remain open.


confront any meaningful scrutiny

But never with a command.


if It would be dangerous

a net to catch all possible inside

and say who could be

and who should be


substitute the government






Melissa Dias-Mandoly

Melissa Dias-Mandoly is a writer and artist living in Pittsburgh with her cat, Catrick Bateman. She designs and edits books for the University of Pittsburgh Press. She was recently a finalist for the Jake Adam York prize, the Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, and the Fear No Lit Submerging Writer Fellowship. Keep up with her work at: mdiasmandoly.wordpress.com.