Name This

Name This

I have always been precise in my naming.
I want the just-right word at the just-right time:
I wield the power of my wording like a weapon.
Verbing nouns, changing phrases to make them new
and surprising, I move
to the matters of soul
heart-clenchingly quickly–
hold on, y’all.
This is how things get real.

See, as babies, our parents label our worlds:
“Do you see the light?”
“That’s your shirt.”
“Big yawn.”
“You are so silly.”
As toddlers, we ask the questions.
We point and show, and
each item is told to us over and over until
we can hold our world in our crumb-encrusted fingers.

My family cat’s name was Coo Coo.
Coo Coo was one of my first words,
and everyone thought it was because
I loved the cat until, at age three
I told my mother that Coo Coo
was despicable.

I wonder how long it took me to find
the just-right word to name that, as playmates go, Coo Coo
was always a bit of a jerk.
I wonder if pride
surged through my three-year-old frame as I knew
I had found my just-right word, had
named the feeling exactly right, I
had spoken.

But just-right words are hard to find,
hard to use, hard to believe in;
naming our lives is not as easy as labeling
lights, and shirts, and
sometimes, I fall away to
solitude and quiet
un-naming of myself and my place, but wonder:
how do I name this worth?
this reclamation?
this embodying?
How do I name this way
I live my world? I say
here is my heart.
I named it Myself.
It is power.
It is existing beyond, it is
a word after
a word after
a word, it is naming:
here. I am here,
holding my world in my hand.
Let me show you the color, the shape
the weight of it.
How heavy it can be.
Stay with me so I can
open my fingers.
Let me show you how beautiful it is
when it hits the light.

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