The Audacity of Names | Teen Ink

The Audacity of Names

September 27, 2018
By TobiasEliot DIAMOND, San Diego, California
TobiasEliot DIAMOND, San Diego, California
53 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul." -Pablo Neruda

They tell me what my name is
A pretty thing
A lovely thing
But I would rather be handsome than pretty
Strong rather than gorgeous
Ken rather than Barbie
In this poem I am no longer teetering between shy boy and unhappy girl
In this poem I am no longer tightroping between being a miracle and being a coincidence
And in the silence of my heart I know what my name is
It used to be a vial of poison handed to me on a silver platter
A word seared into my broken shoulders
A prison called beautiful
But in the battleground between shadows and hearts
I know what it really is
My name is not supposed to feel like oncoming traffic
It is not supposed to remind me of Judgement Day
My name is not decided by the boy who brands me a freak
A walking casket
My name is not decided by the black ink on a page typed thirteen years ago
My name is not some sort of creature cobbled together by unsteady hands in a broken-down factory
The people who named me
Had no idea what a boy like me was supposed to look like
So they hoped this traitorous label of mine would act like glue
Holding together the rotten leaves that are a pitiful excuse for a heart
But all it has done
Is turn me into a house built of splintered boards and shattered windows
But when your house is broken you do not abandon it
You fix it up
Make it good enough to invite guests over
Make the floorboards strong enough to stand on
No, my name is not a fading thing
My name will not be a ghost with a pulse
My name will not be the iron sitting on my shoulders
My name will not be some collapsing barbed-wire fence that I am too afraid to tear down
My name will be a mansion, a grand, glass-stained cathedral
My name will be the final courageous soldier in a half-dead legion
My name will be a testament to the sadness I nearly died fighting
My name will be my name
My name does not belong to the "unwashed masses" anymore
With their tired nine to five hands and titanium hearts
My name will be
My name

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This article has 2 comments.

on Oct. 4 2018 at 5:50 pm
Rhiannon_4 DIAMOND, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
62 articles 87 photos 200 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.
- Native American proverb

Do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light.
- Dylan Thomas

What is past is past -- it is the present and the future that concern us.
- Hiawatha, founder of the Iroquois Confederacy

I really love the anger and determination in this poem. You have real talent, and your writing leaves me speechless.

on Oct. 2 2018 at 3:08 pm
wandererinthemist SILVER, Aurora, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
- Albus Dumbledore

This poem is amazing. I really felt the emotion. Keep writing! Thank you for sharing this with the world.