My name is not mine to claim.

It is a thing given to me – forced upon me.

It is something I have absolutely loathed my entire life and wished that I could change since I was eight.

It is a thing of strain, of distress and discomfort.

My name is a broken record that somehow still manages to play through my parents’, my other family and people I know’s mouths,

despite its cracks, tears, the missing pieces and the fact that it was lost many years ago.

It is a thing that is supposed to be a part of me,

and yet, I cannot help but feel that no one around really cares to listen

and notice how I close my eyes, grit my teeth and flinch when they say that name –

how every time I am forced to say that name, my tongue feels grimy, my teeth clamp down on it and my stomach twists with nausea.

It pierces my insides and forces me to hear my parents saying it, when it knows I crave it to be gone and that we could all just forget about it;

I wish it could be seen that I am sick inside, the name having gotten into my system so many years ago,

infecting me with its contents that would make any human being feel unwell.

Brewing inside of me for so long that my body has become its permanent home,

the cancerous cells inside of my mind and my soul –

the very bane of my existence –

have been tormented for so long that I know no else besides this pain I feel from the abyss of hurt and suffocation.

It is a demanding, horrendous nuisance that will forever remain in its home that it has buried and settled itself into.

It will be there until I drop –

until my heart stops, my mouth no longer inhales or exhales, and my pulse is moving as steadily as the staircase I walk down every day.

My name is something that will forever stay with me, no matter where I go, who I meet or what I do.

It will always be there, lingering, screaming yet whispering itself to me:


Author: Taylor Downs

Downs is the name, being mistaken for a visual artist's the game. Honestly, I don't see the point in this whole bio-thing. But it's a requirement so here we are, I guess. I'm not interesting; I read, write, listen to music and watch Netflix a lot. I absolutely cannot stand the words "y'all" and "ain't." And that's about it, really.

One thought on “Name”

  1. I love the way you presented this idea. It seems odd to me because I claimed the name I grew up with; I grew into it and made it mine. You chose your name, and that’s a powerful statement in itself. You writing this inspired me to write something for me to write a new piece. Great post.

Comments are closed.