Dawn Terpstra

letter to further isolation

instead of nothing say river bird
or water ghost, ride the brook horse
to the edge of the marsh where mist
swallows you, where you drown me
in smooth pebbles and hollow grasses

instead of nothing say persimmon,
desire, lay a red cardinal feather
as an offering beneath the pines
after the first snow, pour wine
sacrifices in remembrance of night

instead of nothing say blue-sky
at noon, say shadows like you
own the dark, show me soft dirt
where you dare to bury time
spiderwebs masking my face

instead of nothing say hope
if voices from separate rooms
make you turn, if the blood-heat
of memory makes you reach
for bodies warm with last touch

say you will die before i do

Dawn Terpstra lives in Iowa where she leads a communications team. Her poetry appears in current and forthcoming publications, including Briar Cliff Review, Citron Review, Passengers Journal, Persimmon Tree, Remington Review, San Pedro River Review, SWWIM, Third Wednesday and, Eastern Iowa Review. Her chapbook, Songs from the Summer Kitchen, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

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Winter 2021