after francine j harris
When I finally reach the end of him
I fault him most for his plain name.
The way it shows up everywhere, dirtying
the party, tracking in mud from parks, pages
of books, neighborhoods I have no interest
in. It arrives on my doorstep,
smearing the welcome mat. Sweet as a sugar
cube. It’s in my tea now. Dissolving
with the water. His name is in my spit.
I cannot unswallow him. He is on the
mouth of all the lovers whose lips I lick.
I always thought I would love a man
with the name of a god. I always pictured
a glorious death ––
running into a house ablaze, saving babies
from the fire, kissing a bullet for someone
I loved. Not this simple name. Not the way
he is on every woman’s tongue. Not
the way he is everywhere, and I still
managed to lose him.
*Originally published in The Paris-American*