content warnings: miscarriage or abortion

carrying, for weeks

i eat lemon custard
until citrus chars the roof of my mouth,
bathe bread in pickle juice,
shortcakes line the counter.

still, i crave these things.
sometimes fizz water
or hot dough
becoming a bandage
around fat little bodies of cheese.

family who are not family
use my body as a worry doll,
rubbing garments
looking for signs of the baby.

she’s there and not there,
leans against walls of flesh
that separate mother and daughter—
her bedroom door already shut.

still, i go to work at the library,
call my mother, we argue.
paint candy cane red nails for the holidays,
carrying the baby til the day is done.

awake after deep-sea sleep
together we bow-ride another day—
the killer whale and her calf
for fourteen days we both keep swimming.


About the Author

Tanya Tuzeo is a mother to two children and two unpublished poetry collections “We Live in Paradise” and “Miserable People”. Submitted are three poems from the former, a merciless observation of our most treasured relationships in a time of environmental and civic decay. Her poems are forthcoming in Wrath-Bearing Tree.