Becoming A Man

Indeed, I am sorry 
to have been 
what I refuse to name,

but then again, without that name,
I can refuse to admit
what I am

and if what I am
can remain unnamed
long enough

it can disappear as if
it never existed;
if it never existed

I may be something
else again and I will take
that name and become

that man, so I refuse
the name I do not want
and it floats away

to land on another man,
one I can safely abhor
because he could not refuse it

when it was hung upon him.
Somehow
my refusal endured

and stood up
and was honored and
buttressed and coddled

and my preferred name
became my own. I became
a man who refused

his true name and 
when they call it after me
in the streets or the courts

or the legislature, I can turn
and say again
that’s not me, I would never.

Secure in saying
whatever I want
to my accusers, 

even to the point
of scolding myself
when I recall what I was

in dead night while staring 
at the red movie behind
my eyes, scolding, saying

no, 
I never, no,
I am not.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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