this is my name with the shades
rolled up, body exposed to the sun,
a simple word that I carry
like a badge or a cross or a scar.
It is my name
dripping from my lips like poetry,
hiding inside colors and pictures,
stories and music.
It's my name with the lights off,
me sitting in the middle of the room
with no one to say it,
arms crossed over my ribcage,
forehead on my knees,
shapes twisting behind my eyelids.
this is my name burrowed in
the obscurity of language,
building bridges and raising walls.
It's my name spoken
through cigarette smoke and slurred voices,
caught up in an embrace,
until it is lifted off the ground and held,
or until some kind soul
nurtures it and then gives it back,
whispering in my ear—