Please Don’t Take His Name || Taylor Stoneman


by Taylor Stoneman

River your mouth to his (if you must) but: refuse to be consumed and remade in his likeness: you are your own rib. Resist the urge to fill your marrow with his ancestry, discarding yours— you are made of your own soil, and though together you may make a lovely garden, remember that he is not the sun: you are. Do not dissolve into (Mrs) as he remains (Mr) your silhouette shifting while his endures— a privilege prescribed, beyond biology, the same construct that caused you to wait for him to bend on one knee, that gave you a ring and left his fingers naked of promise. Retain your selfhood your tongue moving around syllables as it has for decades, silky smooth breath fogged out on cold mornings in the shape of your skin, bones threaded with longing, connected like a cord to the blood of your past. Examine the prospect of sharing your name, not his, and if he laughs? leave him. Preserve that lifelong label, the one holding seeds of identity thrown out in the world as crumbs for others to find you, and grasp your meaning. And if all else fails? Raise your hackles at this world that has imagined you an accessory. Bathe in the past because it is your future, because marriage does not wipe the slate clean, does not make you shiny and new and his. not his. always yours.

Image Credit: Schools - Careers360


Based in Berkeley, TAYLOR STONEMAN draws inspiration from her experiences as a woman and from the natural world around her. Her writing often touches on vulnerabilities of her past, present and future, as well as frustrations with the facades and false choices that society presents to us. Her poetry can be found or is forthcoming in The Dillydoun Review, Haunted Waters Press, Plants & Poetry Journal, and Brazos River Review. She can be found at


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)