the way you mispronounce my name

two o’clock in the morning.

your tired voice is reaching for mine

through the telephone wire.

and this is all i know

you needing me

and me

being given,

but something about my name

tumbling hurriedly off your tongue

has never sounded so foreign.

tonight

it is as though

you have forgotten the weight

each letter in my name carries, how

could you deny me of my narrative.

i am who i was yesterday and who i plan to be tomorrow

but perhaps you never knew that.

perhaps the layers and stories and brokenness

in my first name

never spoke to you.

i suppose that is how it has been

from the very first desperate phone call

and eager greeting

and loaded moan.

how you exhaled my vowels so elegantly,

sarah

sarah

sarah

and dizzied me with desire.

but it is only now

that i am slowly realizing

the selfishness

in you mispronouncing my name.

do not call here again,

i will not answer

to a name that is not the one

my mother and father fitted on my head

like a crown of unmistakable gold

and eternal relevance.

— s a r a

 

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