‘This is it and you know it’ by Dolly Lemke

— Hannah Cohen

Dear dying moon
Dear blooming cherry

As someone who struggles with severe depression and the spaces that exist within that condition, I am always looking for poems that explore that experience, and what Dolly Lemke’s poem does in short lines and asterisks encapsulates a feeling all too familiar. Many of the stanzas contain imperatives such as “water the damn plants”, “Yell / Cry / Thank you”, and “Be normal” among others—it’s an ongoing one-sided conversation, wondering “[w]hat’s the long game here” when you’re existing in several spaces. The home, what should be comfort and safety, becomes inescapable from the “I do not want to give up” thoughts and a relationship hardly tethering the speaker to this world. “This is it and you know it” never states what “it” is, but you don’t need to know—you already understand the ideation and self-deprecation.

Cosmonauts Avenue