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You turn my name into fireworks.

I apologise again for six months

of pronouncing your name wrong.

(An Iraqi girl at my school had the same spelling)

I’m not Iraqi and you’re still pronouncing it wrong, you say.

Morning and I name you the softest alarm.

The same voice that wouldn’t let me sleep,

has been lying in my name,

lying like a lyric between your sheets.

We tune into channel orange and stare at each other again.

You crossed borders to paint old towns pink,

we, boarding-pass past borders

me, white privilege breezing through security

you, and your visa, get searched.

My short, sharp every dick and harry name.

My name, run of the mill runs off your tongue like its going to print.

You tell me years of hearing your name in English voices means you can’t say it yourself

until you’re back at home.

You say you don’t have ‘a home’ but the word lies like a lyric between your lips

and I miss my own.

You make my name sound like fireworks.

You’re still pronouncing it wrong, you say.


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