I love you, I own your name. It belongs wrapped within my mouth—like seaweed. Caressed by my tongue, bumping against my teeth in waves. Your name is the rain in my throat, your name is the sunshine between my molars.
We can play Rumplestiltskin; wear rumples of each others vowels, tilt the sounds, lock the letters from ever touching another’s skin. Because your name follows every sentence in a trailing whisper, a feathering of enchantment and smudged smoke, I let the universe know that I am spoken for. I exhale while paying for groceries and the aging bagger gives me a knowing smile, someone’s name slipping in and out of her lips. I inhale while walking with friends and the pubescent boys we pass look away from my mouth to my stomach to the ground. Your name is the pebble in my mouth I forever roll over, savoring the salinity of your soul.
This is essential. Your name is my worst kept secret, everyone knows. They look at me, watercolors in their eyes bleeding into ‘you poor sad thing’. I cannot stand it when others—especially women—utter your name. I’ve cursed myself. I love you. I own your name. It is mine, it makes me beautiful, full. Come, kiss me. Taste your name on my name. This salt of the earth.