you have the eyes of a dead man,

and i carry in my first name the spirit of a dead woman.

my child will some day have my body,

but maybe they too will carry the spirit of a dead woman

with a tongue so heavy with her own language

that she will fail to pronounce the “r” in her first name.


i was never taught how to pronounce my first name.

my tongue, a home to a thousand other languages

refused to pronounce in english

the consonants that came after a vowel.

everyone i have met has read out

their names in the same way they learned

to call foreign spaces home.

maybe we carry our homes in our names.

maybe our names sometimes carry us back home,

to the people that we are named after

and the people that we eventually name after ourselves.


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