from Please Bury Me in This / by Allison Benis White

Allison-Benis-White

Maybe my arms lifted as a woman lowers a dress over my head.

This is not what I want to tell you.

 

Looking at red flowers on her mother’s dress as she sat on her

lap on a train is Woolf’s first memory.

 

Then the sound of waves behind a yellow shade, of being alive

as ecstasy.

 

Maybe her mind, as I read, lowering over my mind.

 

Maybe looking down, as I sit on the floor, at the book inside the

diamond of my legs.

 

Even briefly, to love with someone else’s mind.

 

Moving my lips as I read the waves breaking, one, two, one,

   two, and sending a splash of water over the beach.

 

What I want to tell you is ecstasy.

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About This Poem

“In a class in graduate school, my professor said that he didn’t really see other people until he started reading–this resonated with me, and by extension, I thought, I didn’t really see myself until I started writing. This poem, which is from a book-length series called ‘Please Bury Me in This,’ originated from reading Virginia Woolf’sReminiscences.”

–Allison Benis White

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Allison Benis White is the author of two books of poetry. Her most recent is Small Porcelain Head (Four Way Books, 2013). She teaches at the University of California, Irvine.

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