Ann Keniston

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



         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.

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.

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