saying my names
let me just hand you an envelope,
one that has it plated like an epigraph.
there’s three on here to choose from, first
middle, last. but i have others you could say
instead, like Kieran, Quinn, Addison.
most of the time a name change costs $150,
but then the federal government might think
i have a family living with me. i guess i do
if we’re just counting myself. a woman in
my body once told me that you can’t
bury your given name. that it sprouts like crabgrass
no matter how many times you hide
the headstone. perhaps i am my head. perhaps
you call me by what you see from my face.
call me by that impression, even if it takes a while.
i’ll roll with it. eventually, i’ll get used
to it. usually i have others introduce me. i shouldn’t
have to die because i can’t decide. you’d get tired
of the splinters, the predicate of dirt, the permafrost.
a woman who lives in my breasts spouted
out hyperlinks with lists of girls’ names. perhaps the problem
is in the future tense. who i could be. when you see
me, do you see an Ilyana or a Kylie? how about
when i wear my favorite sweater, the baggy indigo one,
my one sage green high-low skirt? the women
in my body bear skeptical expressions, like
contemplating what to get at Wendy’s
despite having a regular order. some places
in town know me by name. i’m regular. i’m always
me when i’m there. perhaps the women in me are
fine without a bronze name tag below their shoulder.
perhaps we share the same expression. sometimes
i see women whose faces i’d like to place
onto my own. mostly, i want their lack
of worry. to not sweat through my hoodie
wondering if this dress will fit me when i
walk into Macy’s. to not be carrying this
shovel, evaluating every name that isn’t mine,
& digging a grave.