Age: 17, Grade: 12
School Name: Theatre Arts Production Co School, Bronx, NY
Educator: Ellen Hagan
When my mother called my name for the first time
she knew it was not a name, but a spell.
A hocus pocus, abracadabra, open sesame type of name.
It is familiar to your tongue.
Reminds you of that one night, that one summer ago,
when you fell in love that one time.
My name is a memory you are endlessly searching for.
It is a roundoff back handspring, side stepping into fantasy.
A disco wonderland.
My drag queen name? baby mama. Lower case ‘b’ & ‘m’ on purpose.
The power in my name comes from how it slides from your insides out.
Slowly consuming you without knowing.
You don’t even realize you’re saying it.
My name is the way your eyes adjust to the dark
and how my mother’s knees are always aching.
My name melts, sizzles, and cracks at the back of your throat.
Like a key with no lock. A destination to a hypnotic place.
A knuckle covered with brass rings in your mouth.
My name is a call for war and a wooden rosary around your neck.
It is the humming coming from the forest at the campfire.
When my mother calls my name it is never in whispers,
it only ever bounces off the ledges of the world.