You remembered me in a white dress, but the dress was all flowers blooming, the dress was violets. I’m not here to convince you. I won’t take it personally if you decide not to come back. A misspelling on Instagram reads: “brighter then the sun.” Sometimes the mundane things are the most helpful. A bigger stage and better equipment. Trajectories and lines of flight. More silence. I’m not here to convince you. I can’t help you learn the right thing to say. Everything you’ll say is going to be the wrong thing to say. Should we enter the garden after breaking, the fruits of the garden will be spilled. I’m not here to convince you. My job is to try and show you everything, what we are and what we are not. Start from the point at which we left off—out of love. Out of love, I do this. Out of love, I will tell you where it lies. The sound of wind outside and cheap hotel sheets stirring. The Two Rivers trail waits for us in the morning. I’m not here to convince you. This is the return you make to me, as if it were real.




Isabelle Shepherd is a poet from West Virginia. She now lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Journal, Ninth Letter, The Pinch, Powder Keg, Redivider, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere.