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Whenever someone says
that history is a lie,
I think about the scar
that runs the length of my scalp;
I think about the crow
who died in my hand.
I think about the time
that I let the screen door slam
and pinched my sister's index
finger flat.

History, they say,
is written by the victor
and I think of bones
stripped of all flesh -
of my tiny pink feet
scalded in the bath.

Whenever someone says
that history is a lie,
I think of trees that have fallen
and the stumps that remain
and I think about the animals
who've been pressed into stone
and I think about the grasshopper who
someone once told me
she'd seen take a breath.

History, I've been told,
is a fiction - a device - and
I think about the money lavished
on skylines and I think of
the people who starve in their shadows.
I think of the music that has sounded and dispersed.
I think of an elk skin
marked with blackberry ink.
I think of a cave
adorned in animal dreams.

And whenever someone says
that history is a lie
I think of the moment my daughter
was conceived.
I think of the dogs
who've slept on my bed.
I think of the oceans and all
that has sunk and sits waiting for rescue
on their gathering floors.

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Monte Merrick

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