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Oct 2018
i am trying to get better at correcting people
when they say my name wrong.

i am both good and bad at conflict.
my hands were born into fists and they never quite unclenched.
when my mother tells me to pick which hill i want to die on,
i pick all of them. but sometimes i let people say my name wrong.
it doesn’t feel like they’re talking to me,
it feels like they’re talking to someone else.

sometimes i say my own name wrong, my tongue getting
tangled over a language that belongs to me
but doesn’t always know how to fit into my mouth.
maybe this is what america took from me.

my father didn’t give me all his names.
in america, you only use three names.
the rest is superfluous, they don’t fit in the boxes on forms.
he didn’t want to give my brother more than we could handle.

people always spell my name wrong.
the first time i ever got published they spelled my last name wrong.
my email inbox is riddled with mispellings, extra Ls and Is.

my name is not even very hard to say.
when my parents picked it out, my mother says
they wanted a name that worked in both languages,
portuguese and english.
i don’t think they always understand what they gave me,
the act of being lost in translation
before i even took my first breath.
Written by
daniela  sunflower state
(sunflower state)   
269
   jack of spades
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