Farther Away, by Srikanth Reddy

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From his prose poem, Underworld Lit, which will be published in August by Wave Books.

Though my catalog search under “postpartum depression” turns up everything from Euripides’ Medea to the historical archives of Salem Village Church to the latest report in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, I cannot, for the life of me, find any good books about sad dads. In the weeks and months after Mira’s birth, my wife would occasionally observe that I seemed rather more distant than usual. She was right, but not in the way she supposed. It wasn’t only other people. All manner of things seemed farther away from me—flowers, fire, the day after tomorrow. There must be a word in some other language for this dim sense of misplacement. “Sadness” is darkness in motion. “Depression” is darkness at rest. I felt neither here nor there, like a passenger quietly seated on a departing ferry who studies each fleck and flaw in the window’s glass, without looking through it, for the duration of the crossing.

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