Giving Myself Up

/ /

I am tired of having a name.
Every time I wake
it grinds its teeth
like the gears of a moving van
and it smells of soot,
like the sweat of being a man,
and it weighs like a stone
I carry for no one’s sake.

In the courthouse it echoes
down the long corridors
and it creaks in the bedsprings
of cheap rooms and it croons in bars;
it whistles up to the gaps
between the stars
and down to the truck stop
bathroom’s piss-stained floors.

I have betrayed it to the dark
when there was no one to blame
and whispered it seductively
into the ear of danger.
But I am tired and I want
to be done with it for good.

I will give it up. I will answer
to nothing. I will be
a stranger. I will put on the silence
like an executioner’s hood.
Here it is, poor neck
squirming on the block: my name.