Sammie Terpening

Letter to Lesbos

Sappho, I’m sorry

I don’t know how to be you

I don’t know how to follow your words

maybe they aren’t even yours

but they are in your name and I cannot follow them

in the way I so desperately want to.

Sappho, Saint of the Queer,

if there is a normal way to be a homosexual

bless me maybe

there is none

but at least let me understand what the beautiful people are singing

when they describe the need for sex.

Sappho, if I am what I am

and you were still alive

would you love me

maybe you never existed but

you are a concept I want

to be loved in the way that makes me whole

by the one I know is right.

Sammie Terpening (they/them) is a queer and autistic freshman from New York City. They are currently a creative writing major at SUNY Purchase, and have been writing poetry for almost five years. Besides writing, Sammie is a musician with vocal training.