If This Is Not A Memoir

Consider. A leaf falls from a tree. Does this mark the beginning of descent? I’d prefer to tell this story as fiction: A girl erases her own name from a blackboard, writes her name again. Her room is not windy, no chalky billows, no dust stuck like burrs to the backs of chairs. All year the oaks sing, give voice to the body’s suffering. What part of my body is important to any of you? Everyone is worried about themselves: we don’t shake hands, you don’t put two fingers inside me, you don’t inhale the narrative from my mouth, you don’t feel how every exhalation becomes a metaphor. This is not a metaphor. It is not my voice that sings. Call the words fiction. Call me an oak.

Allison Berry Blevins received her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and is a Lecturer for the Women’s Studies Program at Pittsburg State University and the Department of English and Philosophy at Missouri Southern State University. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as the minnesota review, Sinister Wisdom, Pilgrimage, and Josephine Quarterly. She lives in Joplin, Missouri, with her wife and two children.

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