What’s in a Name?

Poetry by Cheryl Aguirre

Descriptive image of name tag stickers.

You are pronouncing it wrong
The thunderous rolling rs 
Stretched thin like wire

Or perhaps, you struggle
The name jumbled in your
Inexperienced and uncultured mouth
A squeak—uh-gweer-eh

Confusing and unrecognizable. Please,
Try again.
Ah-gear-ee – oh! The way my 
Mother says it, names herself
A reclaiming of her disastrous
Marriage to my foreign father.
Creating a new name, she is 
Mrs. A, minus the commitment
The ole ball and chain that weighed her
An albatross of love through
Treacherous and mispronounced years.

A-gee-rrrr-eh –to be spoken
Lengthily, lovingly, luxuriously, longingly, even
Almost a dulcet purring
You’ve gotten it almost right,
Better than I could, cursed unable to roll my rs
And I am known, unknown, and destroyed, all at once.

Cheryl Aguirre is a queer biracial poet based in Austin, Texas. You can find their previously published work in Ghost City Press, decomp journal, South Broadway Press, Pine Hills Review, and The Whorticulturalist. You can follow them at @drowsy_orchid on Instagram and @Wheat_Mistress on Twitter.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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