The Name, Unbound

The Name, Unbound
For Kelli, on the occasion of her re-naming

The end of our biology is not the death we are unprepared to kneel for.

Shadow-heavy, stagger-ready, our hurt always runs deeper than our reach.
Adam destroyed us.

He named, time began, the wheel turned

we took up our chains

and lurched toward that assigned horizon.

Our bodies weighted, wounded with that single name we drag through mud and blood rolling up

and compacting every mistake, every injury, every tired, stained and mundane scrap of bounded history

thrown to our wills, wheels of stories signed under a name used up,

thinned out, wrung with the sweat of undisclosed despair.

Every anxious silent gesture signals to our lovers: this name is not fully loved.

Nor are lovers anything but prematurely named.

If only we loved

ourselves enough to rename every organ, every cell, to be the Adams of our own gardens.

If only we loved

to die, again and again, to move on when we are used up, to become what is coming, what was always coming, that mewling howl of unwombed hope

that new birth

that chosen horizon

that new life

that desire to desire

that new name

that new name

that new name

To become funerary and sidereal, the dying suns in our own skies.

If only they would let us die, prepare the threshing floor for each new birth.

Then maybe we could remember our deaths with grace and name the world anew.

If only the stillborn were not what constantly staggers through this name-impoverished world.

This face, these scars, those well-worn shoes will never be enough.

And so we’ll continue to fall apart

Because there is no safe place we can go to die.