Poem: Your Name

Like a dirty word,
Like an accusation,
Like an insult,
Like a crime.
I hear it, and
it’s like being punched
in the throat,
Like being slit from
breast to navel,
Like being startled to
A heart attack,
Like having someone leap
From around a corner.
How my entire body Jolts,
Intestines to stomach
and lungs to heart.
Like each part of my body
Can’t bear to stay in place,
Can’t handle the immobility.
Your name makes every
molecule of me,
desperate to flee.
The contents of my stomach,
Rebel against its tract,
Against the weight of your
Secrets coming to attack.
They revolt against the pressure.
They demand to purify,
To eat away at my esophagus.
Expelling what I’d eaten to
Cleanse me from the inside.