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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’s Reminiscences."
—Allison Benis White

from Please Bury Me in This

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.

Copyright © 2013 by Allison Benis White. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 12, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Allison Benis White. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 12, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Allison Benis White

Allison Benis White is the author of Small Porcelain Head (Four Way, 2013).