Nomenclature | Alexa Doran

I changed my name in sixth grade

French class. Madame fanned the choices

like a bouquet. Monique. Lisette. Laure.

Non. Je m’appelle Yvonne.

I liked the way the name cleaved,

like at any time water could rush through me,

like I was a valley. These days there are so many

reasons to let everything run through me.

Like this baby. Sutured to my uterus.

I try not to forget that just like 10 year old me,

bolted down to the bolted down chair,

he may not be ready to choose an identity.

After all, alive in my inner vial of amniotic

fluid he may see each decision as a lifelong

engraving, accent aigu or accent grave  as some

sort of linguistic linchpin. How to communicate

with him? To say Non, c’est seulement le vent.

Or not even the wind, just weather, and

weather is never an answer, just a temporary waft

of being. To say you, son, will change your mind.

Just like I did. Everything is set to one speed.

So. Glide. Glide.

Alexa Doran is a poet who recently graduated from the UNCW MFA Poetry program. She has recently been featured or is forthcoming in So to Speak, Gertrude Press, The James Franco Review, Cactus Heart, scissors and spackle, and CALYX literary magazines. Her poems were finalists in the 2014 Third Coast Poetry Contest, the 2014 Puerto Del Sol Contest, the 2014 Fairy Tale Review Contest and for the 2015 Nancy Hargrove Editor’s Prize.


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