Tanya Tuzeo: “i have postpartum depression”

i have postpartum depression

my newest child looks out from
a lotus of pillows

patiently waits for communion
promised to them by the cosmos.

i break from writing—
become mother

go to him, my body
a crescent over his,

making all the usual sounds,
we coo to each other in dub

the low slush of love
in this sopping orbit of ours.

his tiny clam hands
close over one of mine—

with my other hand i reach
for the black toiletry bag

that holds the pills i need
to continue feeling this way.

Tanya Tuzeo is a librarian and mother to two children and two collections of unpublished poetry, We Live in Paradise and Miserable People. Presented here is from the latter, a merciless observation of intergenerational trauma; a family wounded by mental illness in a post-war, post-truth society and yet continues to limp along, sustained by the vestiges of love and forged bonds. Her work appears in various literary publications, is a finalist in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest 2022 and longlisted in Frontier Poetry’s Nature & Place prize.

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