"on the journey" (2017)

my name is like a lighthouse, meaningful only for those lost out at sea / searching for solace / for a place to rest their tired eyes / do you see me when you are not looking for me? / does my light shine through your dark? / do you only call my name when it’s dark? / do you say my name to yourself when i am not there? / to make sure you’re saying it right? / in case i’m listening? / do you only pronounce it right when you know someone is listening? / what becomes of my name in other people’s mouths? / in your mouth? / when i am not there to correct you? / when i am not there to speak for myself? / what becomes of me when i cannot speak for myself? / when every introduction is an explanation? / when i utter my name aloud and feel its pull from the inside and still search for someone else to answer to? / why do i not answer to myself? / i tend not to name things for fear of growing attached / i named my unborn daughter and now i think about her every day / i search for her everywhere / i feel her in every fibre of my being / the gravity of her name is almost as heavy as my hollow womb / her name made her real / tangible / whole / worth loving / this is why we do not name ourselves / we are not allowed to love ourselves / to be our own salvation / i do not call out my own name / when i am lost / i do not ask me for help / i search for myself in your eyes / i would not exist if you didn’t dream me up in your mind’s eye / i am nothing until you make me someone / every time you say my name / tell me who i am / my name does not belong to me / i am nothing without my name / nobody’s daughter / a shell of a person / to others / my name points to something stable / consistent / enduring / perhaps that’s what a name is / something to hold onto / an anchor / that roots me in the ocean of my human / the way siren songs / guide sailors home

Featured image taken by M. Dabbadie in August 2019.