Published on November 3rd, 2023 | by Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado


Original Suffering

I kept obsessively watching videos on YouTube about the fertilization process. Hoping I could teach my body how to conceive a baby. Conceive is the word they use. As if my body ran out of good ideas. I wanted so badly to be pregnant. I thought it silly to want what is supposedly a biological imperative. I was just met with my own desperation—disguised in different hairstyles playing back at me through the obsidian screen. Of course I couldn’t conceive of a brand new being. Not when I was so unoriginal in my own suffering.

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About the Author

Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado is a Boricua writer from Queens. She has published essays on mental health, travel, Latinx culture and comics at HuffPost, Bitch Media, and Comicosity. Her poems have appeared in Poydras Review, Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist, and New Voices anthology series. Currently Jennifer works as an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Baruch College, CUNY. You can learn more about her work at www.jennifercaroccio.com or follow her on Twitter @jcaroccio.

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