Dear Turquoise / Ruth Foley

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dancing girl press, 2013

 Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her recent work is appearing or forthcoming in Adanna, The Bellingham Review, Yemassee, and Weave, among others. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.


Forgive me. In my hands, the astronaut
becomes a mermaid, the shooting star

becomes a fish—not even a starfish. I
might need that one later. Your blood
has become various things: vodka,

the ocean, a pool of rippling water,
a puddle of milk about to edge over a table.

When I throw it in the air, it shatters.
What I cannot remember, I invent.
On the corner, children are laughing,

playing keep-away with a softened
basketball behind the tall pine fence

in January air turned April warm—
the nights are slowly getting shorter,
and I can almost feel the sun again.

I cannot reinvent that, although this house
holds longer shadows than it might.

Even now, sister, there are no children.
There is only me, a pair of dogs asleep
in the narrowing wedge of afternoon.

Even now, I do not have a sister.
This is how I make the world.