Dear College, December


Dear eggs sliding down plates at midnight a longing in the pit of my stomach. Dear dollar store frying pan nonstick surface in each egg I made because I needed something to fill me. Dear me with my underwear down in the town square after midnight with a guy because I could. Dear finding out at midnight our childhood friend was dead. Gone. All of us elsewhere. How could we be there. How could a lake of half-life already she was dead. Dear dance class teacher who knew how to pick her out she had the body. Dear almost prima ballerina dear pink leotard crumpled up and dirty and dear number not in service. Dear body and opal ring missing. Dear place and wet and forget this place. Dear midnight in centuries of the myth of wolf. Dear what’s a wolf of instinct nothing broken in glass. Dear drifting and the killer called for the weather forecast after her death. Dear daughter waking a mind of whiteout. Your daughter. Your panting. Dear daughter with no future. Dear I’m almost home for the holidays what is this. Dear future slipped and corroded. Dear parents. Who can enter sleep now as a bird the banks of the lake made of bars. Dear two sets of footprints. Dear only one. Dear lips where sediment accumulates. Dear distance and serving. Dear all over this space I can’t find you. Dear eggs inside of us depleting and then gone. Dear what does anything teach us about stillness. Dear dream I keep having of red sand on the floor of her car the sand from the lake underneath the fingernails.


Emily Koehn grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and currently lives in St. Louis. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Thrush, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Seneca Review, CutBank, and other journals. Her work has been nominated for the Best New Poets series and two Pushcart Prizes. She received her MFA from Purdue University.