Bury me in the grave of a woman with the same name
if you think she wouldn’t mind how we share a stone, a patch, a name.
My name was stolen off the back of some girl’s varsity jacket, held secret
under mother tongue for nine months, tucked under my skin; became my name.
I was sixteen when my syllables grew to much for any tongue, tasted
wrong, even my mother tried to change it; I’ve never belonged to any name.
I became interchangeable, features made to shift, subtly re-arranging
myself, I’ll come to anything you call my name.
I gave my name to a fae creature and they made me changeling, made me
wood and spore marionette, wild and easily rotten I no longer need a name.
They all start so beautiful, blonde and blue-eyed, but there’s no telling how
they’ll twist, when potato sack skin will begin to rot. It’s best to not give them a name.
It was December when I found mine, cotton yellowing from decades under thin skin
that tore, burst weak at the seams; along my spine, in sharpie, what you called my name.
Painted blood-ruddy I watched violets spring through sidewalk cracks
where I’d spilled myself. I try not to think too hard about the way they knew my name.
I lore holder, good creature, told nothing my name; stopped turning at Erika
sung low on the wing; magic bled away so quickly after I refused my name.
E.B. Schnepp is a poet currently residing in Chicago. Their work can also be found in Up the Staircase, Lumiere, and Roanoke Review, among others.