my ID


I have been called many names

almost never the ones I was christened

which still sound foolish and foreign

fitting me like new, starchy clothes

and I sometimes forget they are mine.

angles inside where I was and am

delicate, gentle, velvetkind, mysterious,

beautiful, voluptuous, sensitive.

behind my back, over emails

overheard in whispered tones

implied, indicated, intimated, insinuated.

Men in particular felt the need to qualify

comment and evaluate regarding

weight and clothing, hair and style,

fatigue and makeup, wrinkles and bulges

never noticing rivers streaming  within

as they turned away, nudging elbows

exchanging smirk for stare

names given to dwarves of fable

descriptors rather than names

fully inaccurate

on any given day

but maybe by the hour:

Dimwit, Nitwit, Halfwit, dull witted

thin, sickly, Blondie, Dizzy, dumb, Trouble,

cold, cruel, coarse, conceited

eccentric, Clown, peculiar, brazen

Fatty, Fool, flaky, flat, frigid

contrary all

standing  before

a closet of costumes

and mirror trying to find that

which would make

me

less

me

then wearying

resigned to title and label

badge and identity.

theft of that which once was

now

a happy hermit

I stay within the parameters of safety

the mirror and the masquerade quitted.

I venture nowhere

where others might

judge if I am really sick

wonder if I might die pretty soon

or not.

if I have wrinkles in my clothes or skin

in high heels or walking shoes,

I regain my stride

aplenty names writhe in my mind

on slow delete and erase

while I invent anew, and reach erstwhile

ones that could fit

I can replay a pristine set

                                                                     ascends

Til one unsullied

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