Those Names

Hearing names,

every one of them
formerly worn by someone 
dead, someone
killed by another, or someone
who perished from
indirect action or inaction.

Hearing names

that don’t sound like yours
until one day they do and you spiral
into the center of a heap
of blood scraps. 

Forgetting you’ve heard those names

until later; sitting in front of the news
feeling nothing because
those names don’t sound like yours
until they do again

and then you turn
it off, because you don’t
want to know, because 

if you don’t know it didn’t happen.

In your sleep you are not hearing
names. In your sexing, feeding, walking,
working, voting, dancing,
you are not hearing those names.

Your life
is built on not hearing those names
even if they rhyme with yours.

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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