Postpartum by Tamara Kreutz

                after “Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins

Just when I thought I’d be myself
again, my belly flops beside me in bed—
stretched, gelatinous,
an upper lip at the smile of my pelvis,

And standing before the mirror
I find my body has forgotten who she was—
my hips sway wide, my feet ache from falling flat.

Stripped of sensuality, my breasts, stiff and dimpled, drip
like garden hoses—twin milk stains through my cotton shirt.
They throb for the creature who spends most of her hours
with her mouth latched onto me.

Slumping through the house, half asleep
in daytime, I’m half awake at night,
listening to the rhythm of my baby’s breath.

I hate my husband beside me.
He’s stolen my sleep and hoarded it all
for himself. His body and brain seem so unchanged

while a stranger lives in my pendulous skin,
and memories of me before birthing are shelved
in gated-off corners of my mind.

No wonder my phone lights my face up in blue, as I nurse
and scroll through timelines on bouncing back
No wonder I watch the moon each night,
as it drags me through the dark into each new day.


Tamara Kreutz lives with her husband and three young children in Guatemala, where she works as a high school English teacher at an international school. Poetry gives her grounding in a life full of moving pieces. She is currently working towards her MFA at Pacific University and has had her work featured in Rattle – Poets Respond, Stonecoast Review, and Verse-Virtual among others.