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Let me carry the baby 
             dislocate my disappointment
Artemis still on the launching pad

             let me take a selfie with the moon
                          with the baby eating a banana
             I unbox my Snoopy doll before

a stuffed dog or sheep in a NASA suit
             spirals toward an orbiting rock
frozen as I imagine my body 

             in a cryogenic chamber before 
                          another apocalyptic isolation 
             where I sleep folded into your chest

like three dozen roses fragile-
             blossomed and crushable 
not a bud denuded or petal bruised

             I know Artemis will deliver Orion 
                          burn another crater into a body of empty rivers
             dusty as spent confetti blowing through 

a shuttered dance hall by the water
             where I remember jazz music and stars
shooting above your bed dressed 

             in white linen our bodies spinning 
                          spinning in unearthly euphoria
             that was never mine but here I am

goddess of the hunt stirring the ashes 
             bound to this place by a gravity
I cannot escape and like a rocket

             waiting for fiery propulsion
                          reentry into the wilderness 
             Let me carry this baby

like a piece of moon returning
             to moon from those decades when
men mined a fragile surface

             before your last words
                          start the countdown, flip the ignition
             and a love poem flames into elegy


Dawn Terpstra is a poet, writer and beekeeper living in Iowa. Her granddaughter believes she lives in the Enchanted Forest full of lights and woodland creatures. Her recent work appears in Flint Hills Review, Mom Egg Review and Briar Cliff Review. She is an MFA student in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University. 

© 2022, Dawn Terpstra

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