Envoy

By Ann Keniston

Ann Keniston is the author of the poetry collection The Caution of Human Gestures (Wordtech 2005) and a chapbook, November Wasps: Elegies (Finishing Line 2013), as well as coeditor of The New American Poetry of Engagement: A 21st Century Anthology (McFarland 2012) and the author of several scholarly books on post-1945 American poetry. “Announcement Aria” comes from a recent ms., entitled “An Assemblage,” that explores the relation between psychoanalysis, the psychosomatic, and originality, with a focus on 19th-century hysterics. With recent or forthcoming poems in Water-Stone, Yale Review, Literary Imagination, and Gettysburg Review, she is a professor of English at the University of Nevada and lives in Reno.

Ann Keniston is the author of the poetry collection The Caution of Human Gestures (Wordtech 2005) and a chapbook, November Wasps: Elegies (Finishing Line 2013), as well as coeditor of The New American Poetry of Engagement: A 21st Century Anthology (McFarland 2012) and the author of several scholarly books on post-1945 American poetry. “Announcement Aria” comes from a recent ms., entitled “An Assemblage,” that explores the relation between psychoanalysis, the psychosomatic, and originality, with a focus on 19th-century hysterics. With recent or forthcoming poems in Water-Stone, Yale Review, Literary Imagination, and Gettysburg Review, she is a professor of English at the University of Nevada and lives in Reno.

A different version was published (under the title “Dreamed Beloved”)
in the Missouri Review Online.

I permit you to refuse

to speak. Don’t
reenact your suffering anymore.
It’s time to end

the pathos, bathos, tears
you despised in life. You’re expert
at coming back. Or pretending to

since it’s I who invoked, then
made you speak, not
to prove my power
but to show you never left.

Remember how you let me pinch
your lips till I thought I was
your ventriloquist and voice? Best friend

 

and confidant, mommy, sister I never
had,

         waiting in the wings,
when you weren’t called: now

it’s time to cut me off, call
my bluff, be quiet, stop. Please
release us both.

Maren Rush