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Sad, Lonely Poem with Slices of Turkey by Terri Linn Davis

Sad, Lonely Poem with Slices of Turkey by Terri Linn Davis



I ask him to help me

pick out hairstyles,


and show him pictures

I’ve saved of better


looking women.

When he observes


my face directly

for the first time in,


maybe, weeks, he says,

“sometimes the right answer


is to do nothing.” After

it’s done, I call him


on my way home—I go

from heart’s length


to jaw bone. He tells me,

only when it’s too late,


that he liked my hair

how it is.


I say, “some people cry

after a bad haircut.”


He says, “really?” and then

reminds me that sometimes


the right answer

is to do nothing.


On my way home

I pick up a cake


for his father’s birthday.

When I open the door,


I wonder if he might

notice I’m home


only when he hears

the door is closing.


He says nothing

when his father tells him


I’m wonderful. Later,

When I’m cold, he asks me


to get dressed. He doesn’t

acknowledge that I’m naked.


He falls asleep with

headphones on every night


in a different room

listening to a woman


On a video turning pages

and whispering about cranial


nerves as she snaps softly.

He would take my hand


if I held it to him

as dutifully as he packs


the kids’ sandwiches

in the morning. He would hold


my fingers like slices of turkey.

Never putting them to his teeth,


never hungry for what’s in front of him



Terri Linn Davis is an American poet and writer. She is the co-founder, co-editor, and the Xena: Warrior Princess of “Spin the Bottle,” for Icebreakers Lit. She is also the host of the sporadic podcast Too Lit To Quit: the Podcast for Literary Writers.


Terri is a first generation college student, and after working various odd jobs throughout her twenties, she graduated with her B.S. in English in 2018 and then with an MFA in Poetry from Southern Connecticut State University in 2021.

Her poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Sundress Publications’ Best of The Net. Some of her poems, fiction, craft talks, and poetry book reviews appear in Pithead Chapel, Taco Bell Quarterly, The Penn Review, Rejection Letters, Cultural Daily, The Daily Drunk Mag, Bending Genres, Five South, and elsewhere.


She is an alumna of the 2022 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop for poetry and a 2023 Artist Fellowship recipient from Connecticut Office of the Arts.


Terri works from home as a Technical Writer in an 190 year old haunted farmhouse in Connecticut. She is also licensed to teach English to grades 7-12. She is a sometimes-adjunct, teaching writing composition and poetry for her alma mater.


Terri has both Dyscalculia and ADHD, so she would greatly appreciate you never ever ask her to tell time on an analog clock and to also please forgive her in advance for her long bouts of absences. If it helps, you can also blame her three children.

If she becomes too lost, you can find her on twitter @TerriLinnDavis

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