what’s in a name

by epi

Lately, I’ve been weighed
heavy by the name my mother chose for me:
“love.”

That first time it was spoken out loud
as something that belonged to me,
I wonder if she whispered it;
did she hold me close and speak it as a breath, an exhale?
Or, did she know something that she couldn’t have;
was my name meant to be a lofty promise–
“no matter what,
“you’ll always have this name i gave you;
as long as you don’t forget your name,
you’ll always have my love?”

But in clearer moments I tell myself she never knew
that translated from french,
my name meant the thing
people are willing to die for
to be poor for
to give up for
to hold on for;
“love.”

But these days, when all i want
is to be surrounded
by the meaning of my name,
the clearer moments are fewer and far between.

I grasp for straws it seems,
find myself angry
throwing bottles and plates and angry words,
feeling cheated, and lied to.

i want my own name is all,
i want love.

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