Words To Describe Myself After The Incident

Meghan Lamb



You ask me to name things. You tell me the things I must name. You say, animals, countries, odd numbers, old monuments, names I can name that begin with which letters. Food mostly. These fruits and these vegetables. This many fruits with this letter in this many seconds. The building of fragments. The half-finished fragments of foods I have left all around me.

I look at things and ask them what to call them, as I name them. There’s a pool of pudding in a dish. A fly that spins around the ceiling.

You point out the things in this room. You remind me there’s something in them that belongs to me. This is your bed, bedside table. Your bookcase. Your book. That’s your window. Beyond that is everything else.

The window, today, it is white.
The window, today, it is yellow.
The weather is yellow outside.
The wind weather, see how now the sky, it is blue?
The window, today, it is white.
It is always white.
Sometimes the window’s more white, today.
Do you see how, today, it is white?
Do you see how, today, it is white?
Do you see how, today, it is more white?
Today, it has changed.


I am retaught, each time anew, how to perform the task of naming. Myself, as measured in these words, not what they are, or what they mean. Myself, as measured in these words, not what they are, to you. Myself, as how I say them, and how quickly they must come.


Today, I am better, you say.
Now, today.
You are better, today.
Day before, were too slow.
You say, better, today, now.
Today, I am better.
Be better.
This better.
Be this many words.


You, tomorrow, be this many words.
You say, do it.
Be better.
You know I can do it.
You say, give me a pen. You say, pen. You write down on a paper. You look at me. Start.




You stop.
You say, stop.
You say now
You now
Your watch goes


You say now, myself, as you see. You bring me books and papers. You play music. You say, do you know what this means?

You bring books and pictures. The photographs. You say, you see? You see the words I say I do not know.

You say, what would you like? I say the words I know. You bring me things I say. You say. You point. I see. I speak.

Gray milk stirs in a white dish. Colors now seem so important. Little flakes like shriveled leaves.
The window, wind outside, the trees, today.


Meghan Lamb lives with her husband in St. Louis. Her novella, Sacramento, was recently released on Solar Luxuriance Press. Her book, Silk Flowers, is forthcoming this year from Birds of Lace Press. Her work can also be found in The Collagist, Artifice Magazine, Pank, the Alice Blue Review, Necessary Fiction, Spork, and Wigleaf.