Yoko Ono Said Two Prose Poems by DeMisty D. Bellinger

Yoko Ono Said

Yoko Ono said that I could not have really loved The Beatles and that I didn’t know John Lennon. “Did you cry when he died?” I explained to Ms. Ono that I was not alive when Lennon was shot. She said, “Oh.” The word made her lips, painted spilling-blood red, round out into an oval. Bumps there. A faint mustache, or the absence of a mustache. Pores. “Do you know love?” she said. I asked Ms. Ono if she was, seriously, asking me such a useless question. She stepped back and laughed. I said to her that I believed in her like little kids believed in beastly beings beneath their beds. She, then, stepped forward. Towards me. I told her that The Beatles was already dead when she arrived. She smiled. Lipstick on her teeth.

What Did You Mean To

I think she says to not call her lady or Lady aloud or in her head or in my head and I say aloud—maybe too loudly, “to your right, Miss Holiday,” and she does. I inhale and taste the jungles of everywhere on my lips, my teeth. I tell her this. I say, aloud (or in one of our heads), “I taste what we’ll fight for years ahead of now. You heard of Kennedy? There will be a movement of rights. You heard of war?” She looks at me and laughs, and in it, I hear her every sorrow, every yearning, and I understand then why “April in Paris” makes me both giddily-girl happy and practicing what my therapist will define years later as suicide ideation. “Miss Holiday,” I say

DeMisty D. Bellinger teaches creative writing at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. She has an MFA in creative writing from Southampton College and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in many places, most recently in Necessary Fiction and Forklift, Ohio. In June of 2015, she was a full fellow at Vermont Studio Center.