My mother named me strong, but never minded weakness.
My relative, but not ‘family’, name sound like a sewer, a reflection of my life, overflowing with excrement and unpleasantness, full of rats.
But my name is not me.
I loathe my name.
But it follows me everywhere I go, stinking dog.
I allow people to call me by a name as false as dentures.
I let them insult it, tear it, wound me.
If it weren’t so heartbreaking, I’d laugh at their ignorance.
But reading and watching
Falsehoods more real than I,
I found a truer name
One that put a sparkle in my eye.
Brianna, Brianna, Brianna, they call, and though I respond,
It’s not my name, not truly, not at all.
My new first name is my anger, my new middle one my color, my new surname reflects the beauty and pain, the strength and weakness of my own self.
Brianna Marie Seward is a front, a line, a performance, a play.
Livia Scarlet Rosethorn is a me that rarely sees the light of day,
But still solid and real.
Livia is the name my demons whisper and my angels sing.
Livia is me.