Memoir (advanced reader’s copy)

On my headstone, write:
afraid of bugs

Anything but a list of nouns
Of relations to people
They do not define me
They need not feel obligated to
Allegedly belove

Sister, daughter, friend

Someone who tried to change things
To change the world
Because that’s the plan, at least

Write, big:
Born October 18, 1999
Because I am one of those people who makes the entire birthday month a part of the birthday which is extremely selfish but also much more fun
And the people must know
When they come to the grave in October
That this is Birthday Month
And if the people don’t come
(why would they)
Still the dandelions will know
And they’ll fire their hoar grey manes away like confetti

And write my name:
Bold and all capital
So a ten year old girl can make a good crayon rubbing
The way her dad showed her
And learn not to be afraid of it all

But do not bury me beneath the headstone
Or else the bugs might eat me

Natalie Welber


Natalie Welber is a poet and student at Northwestern University, where she studies theatre and religion. Her writing has appeared in CoronaStoryteller, and magnetted to the refrigerator door for her family’s quarantine poetry competition. She is also a playwright, and you can follow her work in development on instagram: @annaamaliaplay

© 2020