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More poems by Stephen DunnStephen Dunn | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (1) | Books by Stephen DunnBooks by Stephen Dunn


Stephen Dunn

He'd spent his life trying to control the names
	   people gave him;
oh the unfair and the accurate equally hurt.

Just recently he'd been a son-of-a-bitch
	  and sweetheart in the same day,
and once again knew what antonyms

love and control are, and how comforting
	   it must be to have a business card -
Manager, Specialist - and believe what it says.

Who, in fact, didn't want his most useful name
	  to enter with him,
when he entered a room, who didn't want to be

that kind of lie? A man who was a sweetheart
	   and a son-of-a-bitch
was also more or less every name

he'd ever been called, and when you die, he thought,
	   that's when it happens,
you're collected forever into a few small words.

But never to have been outrageous or exquisite,
	   no grand mistake
so utterly yours it causes whispers

in the peripheries of your presence - that was
			his fear.
"Reckless"; he wouldn't object to such a name

if it came from the right voice with the right
	   amount of reverence.
Someone nearby, of course, certain to add "fool." 

Added: 6 Oct 2002 | Last Read: 22 Mar 2018 2:22 AM | Viewed: 6827 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/7686/ | Viewed on 22 March 2018.
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