Frank O’Hara’s Tribute

Someday I’ll Love Anjelica Chevi-Savannah English in abundance,
Similarly abundant to the amount of letters
Made into the name that was placed upon me.
Eight, five, eight, seven.
Twenty-eight, or nine, characters,
if you count the hyphen.
I like to talk about the space it fills
A place holder not needed to begin with.
There is no need for a second middle name,
Other than to give a girl with no options an option
To be more than what her parents put on her,
By bringing her into a world– unwanted.
Even in the process of baking this bun in her oven,
With a batch of hash in the roller–
High on the idea of not being sober,
In the momentary transition from daughter to, oh wait,
She was already a mother who made this mistake.
Lost one child to a better parent because of her failures,
So she ran away to a small valley
Where her own parents could not find her
Or this particular granddaughter.
Named first for a truck with three on the tree,
A Chevy step-side painted that light blue of baby’s
Maybe that’s where the hyphen came from,
A further tribute to her favorite truck.
The ‘i’ at the end came from a movie–
A leading Swiss chick with a name
that probably sounds a lot cooler than mine.
My birth certificate was sent back seven times
For spelling errors, can you imagine?
Anjelica couldn’t be Angie with a ‘g’
Because Morticia impacted my mother enough
That my formal name is even spelled oddly.
I only knew I had a first name when I was in trouble
And only if that trouble was big,
Most often I heard “CHEVI-SAVANNAH ENGLISH”
In all capitals because how else would you know I’m yelling?
Someone once asked me:
“How weird is it for you to say your last name all the time?”
Saying my last name isn’t weird at all,
Having to spell “English” for people is fairly disconcerting though.
My third name has an unknown origin
I’m sure some far-off family member knows something,
But I don’t know where they would be;
I ran away to a valley
Where my family cannot find me
Excepting the brother that my mother lost
Before I could come home.

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This entry was posted in Poetry.

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