Naming By Aspen McCarry


i’ve had so many names

some I’ve taken to use as
sign posts
the where and when and who the way
the way others mark with memory of time

others I hold like embers in my chest
constantly burning and smoldering and waiting
for me to remember and scald again,
hot sparks against the lining of my throat

I hold my name in my palms. I hold it there and it does not feel like mine. It never feels like mine.

I’ve had so many names

I hold it in my palms, it is flowing between the cracks of my fingers, scarred rivers and
It is a leaking I don’t know I would stop even if I could.

I wonder how I am supposed to be a
real boy
real girl
real person
when my name is as changeable as clothes,
when I will still respond to slut as well as girl as well as aspen as well as bitch as well as
names I will never speak again but will always carry

Instead of coins they gave me
names I cannot hold

By Aspen McCarry


Aspen McCarry (they/them) is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh studying history and LGBTQ+ studies. When not writing, they can often be found drawing, making music, and trying to teach their cat a new trick.

Leave a Reply