by A.C. Dobell
didn’t say it like other people say it
with a playful hesitation at its unfamiliarity
in their mouths; it was one exhale,
four syllables rounded one small fire
in the night. I don’t use it often,
sometimes on documents, but hardly seen
outside filing cabinets. Certainly not on my profile,
for even my mother reserves it. I forget,
but I think he asked…early on in the act,
between tongues as we answered introductory questions.
At the time I had fun letting slip my personal
information that way. It was hot even—
like when he asked for my pin number.
And I told him then begged him not to rob me.
I didn’t think he would remember hours later, the name
that even I forget to respond to sometimes.
The sun arose, and of course birds knew
the dawn chorus. But I feigned asleep fully convinced
that someone I hadn’t met before saying my full
and foreign name to me could feel something like
familiarity. And less like having your identity
compromised after a slip of carelessness. But he didn’t
of course—rob me.
A.C. Dobell is a Filipina-American author and visual artist. She is a student and mentee of the Madwomen in the Attic writing program at Carlow University. Her work has been published in Eunoia, Rising Phoenix, and Mercado Vicente. She is a director of Mused, a collaborative exhibition for artists of varying mediums.