There is No Word for This Name
BY ARTHUR KAYZAKIAN
it looks like a stain from a bracelet around the wrist.
A grapple phantom.
A sort of hue that surfaces when one is pulled through the door.
It is the astronomy of the hand best seen through cause and effect
She was scientific about it, touching the solar system
pulsing around her eye.
When I ask you to name it,
you parade the garden with ghosts on your tongue
calling out to the prisoners who slipped through the fences—
the part history leaves out.
It used to mean sitting in the balcony, moon split in half.
How this was a mirror planet—that half of the world does not exist.
You left that part out, didn’t you?
That you reside in the misplaced side of the moon.
Fine, I believe you.
You named it the residue of night falling on a garland of dark petals,
steam rising from a black teacup
with your lips smudged on the rim on the last day you took a sip.
Since you’ve been gone,
I’ve tried to name every bird perched on the branches.
I need to know what flies out of the holes in our lives.
I had to read it twice.
My name has a wavy bounce.
Under the glow of a light bulb, it glimmers off government documents, sits next
to a polygraphed sticker of an eagle
and the well-rested signature of the state,
which appears longer with more vowels and loops.
When I read it the second time, it feels like a transaction
running through me.
Careful not to leave my fingerprints behind,
I hold the certificate with gloves.
And in the back of my head,
from somewhere in the past, lingers
the crypto-biotic sound of my mother saying my name.