Poem: Call Me by My True Names, Reprise

Thay tells me he is a twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And my heart expands.
He is a frog, swimming in a lake
and also the grass snake, eating the frog.
And my heart expands.
We pray on the Jewish Holy days
with our German friends, and he asks me to
find the non-Hitler parts of Hitler
and the Hitler parts in me.
And my heart expands.

know I am the teenage boy murdered in Mississippi,
And I am the white-hooded murderer, smug in disguise.
I am the black-haired girl from Laguna Pueblo,
molested from birth by her father, uncles, grandpa,
and I am those men, hopeless.
I am the campesino, tending beehives inĀ Guatemala,
And I am the soldier who executes him.
And my heart expands.

mb23-CallI am a twelve-year-old boy,
a can of nails hurled at my head
And I am his mother,
unable to help
or stop his leaving home,
as I whirl away to avoid being hit
by a pot of spaghetti
hot from the stove,
which decorates my chairs
with red and white streamers
before it clatters and rolls on the floor.

And I am the man
overflowing with rage,
who throws his anger
at the people he loves.
And my heart expands
to contain his suffering
Even while I say NO,
at the risk of my life.


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