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Posts Tagged ‘name’

One Journey

this crumb trail of syllables

worthy of decade-long explorations—

your name

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To say a person’s name is to keep them alive.
–Ancient Egyptian belief

It is odd how much I want to see the mummy,
though I have seen it before. It is the same
as it was then, dark and stiff and behind glass.
The woman is short, she was rich, they know
because of the care taken in how her entrails
were removed, wrapped in linens, returned
to her body before the whole corpse
was salted and dried for forty days.
Only then did they wrap her for good,
this time with scarabs inside the linens.
Of course the dung beetle would symbolize
rebirth. It epitomizes relentless biology.
I love staring at the shape of her face,
the way her toes point up. I love reading
about how they found her in the wrong coffin—
a coffin made for a common man—they could
tell by the hieroglyphics. Part of me
longs to believe that what is dead is dead.
And part of me wishes I knew her name
so I could say it again and again.

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Invitation

a poem for Leanne Canty’s amazing Alphabet Menagerie

Between the letters A and Z,
there’s so much to explore—
an alphabetic wonderland
of names that open doors!

And then there are the places where
the world slips through the letters,
where anything is possible,
let’s dance there, friend, together.

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Moment of Grace

Sometimes a person’s name
becomes so heavy around her neck
that the gravity of it pulls her down,
down into the snow drift, so far down,
syllables wrapped around buried stones,
that she cleaves it from her, expecting
blood, but there is only a sweet
emptiness where the name once was.
Such levity, she nearly floats above
the white bank. But you know what
happens to an empty space. Don’t
tell her. She is talking with the birds now,
and the sky. And the space
behind the sky.

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on the wall
those shadows so much larger
than our problems

*

in the frost
on the window she writes
her name

*

recalling all those
prayers
I never learned

*

like a worm in kale,
something nibbling
all night on her dreams

*

air, snow, shadow, wind
she loses any names
she has been given

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