I Sang It in a Love Song, So It Must Be True

by Alison Kronstadt

Sometimes I wish I could stop you from talking 
when I hear the silly things you say
Alison, I know this world is killing you
Oh Alison, my aim is true

– Elvis Costello, “Alison”

I was named for a catcall strung out into three verses and a chorus Ballad
drowning in mystery fansites say she’s a pretty stranger his eye caught
at the grocery store maybe an ex-fling scraping out a fetus
with half his DNA Elvis Costello says my aim is true
he might mean it literally No one wastes time on what Alison might say
but I am Alison so to Elvis Costello to anyone
who has ever claimed to love me

Take my name out of your mouth. 
Your eyes lied when they looked at me
and told you muse Damsel I’m the troll under the bridge
Asked for peace Got this trap, trap trap Every echo
hissing my name in a hated cadence saying: we sing because we love
Who wouldn’t want a passion sharp enough to carve the melody of you
into the air? I was a child the first time I was dragged from my body
and into verse the first time someone thought their love meant
they could take my name bend it into a circle to crown them prince or 
failing that martyr against the heresy of my refusal

I ran into the arms of a boy who never sang did what Elvis couldn’t: 
gift me a contagious silence whistling a hole through my head
to land in my own mouth I survived him only to stumble through more poets
stitching me into metaphor muting me to make way
for the romance they knew they deserved If I were love, I’d say: 
take my name out of your mouth Set it ablaze I would rather be ash
than what you’ve made of me

Alison means “of noble birth” A princess of course needs not just a hero
but a narrator Her voice only good for singing to the forest creatures
The moral only ever Sit Wait Someone will love you
enough to speak for you to dirty your name
What a happy ending.

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