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poet

Allison Benis White

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Allison Benis White

Allison Benis White is the author of Please Bury Me in This (Four Way Books, 2017) and Small Porcelain Head (Four Way Books, 2013). She teaches at the University of California, Riverside, and lives in Irvine, California. 

by this poet

poem

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.

poem

I am not any closer to saying what I mean.

Love has made itself so quiet, a few red fish moving in slow circles.

I want to say like blood, like forgiveness, this obedience, looking at the ground on my knees.

I mean to cease to feel, to cancel, to give up all claim to—

At some point, I rested

poem

I am writing to you as an act of ending.

Cutting faces out of paper and folding them in envelopes like thoughts.

Am I a monster, Clarice Lispector asked in The Hour of the Star, or is this what it means to be human?

To be alive, I think as I cut another face.

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