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When You Speak of Me

When you speak of me,
don’t call me “belle.”
I don’t jump through hoop skirts
for anyone.
Fiddle-dee-dee my Kentucky Fried ass.
You call me Woman.
Call me shit-wading mountain climber
because I have done plenty of both.
Call me deep root Woman.
Call me creek bed mother.
Call me starlit sky when we make love.
Call me bourbon when we fuck.
When you speak of me,
call out my name like a Baptist Hallelujah.
Like the second coming.
Like you’ve cum again, and again.
Call me blue jeans and boots.
Call me lace and plaid.
Call me out like I drawl your name— slow. Breathy.
Like the taste of me lingers on your tongue.
When you speak of me,
be clear. Be loud.
I will not be misunderstood by anyone.
Call me fact,
call me stone-cold Faith. 
Have faith in me.
Call me your sincerely held belief.  
Believe in me.
When you speak of me,
know that I am listening.
Call me.
Know that I will answer.
Know that I will come.

Alexis Rueal is a Columbus, Ohio poet. She has performed throughout the US and had work published in many print and online journals. Her first full-length collection, ‘I Speak Hick’ was published in 2016 by Writing Knights Press. She resides with her husband, two cats, and a golden doodle.