Assumed the Name

From Look Winter in the Face, a collection published in 2015.

Assumed the Name

A woman’s voice calls out.
Ava, she says.
I turn around. No one moves in the whole big room
but me
no one turns no one’s eyes flicker
and I don’t even know
who called out. Just a woman. That’s what I know.
Ava? Ava? I look around to see. There is no Ava. Not
at the next table
reading a magazine
working behind the desk
no one moves. No one answers.
Not Ava.
I am sure.
No one No one No Ava.
I wait. I am looking. I hear
footsteps clicking on the tiled floor
coming this way. I hope
because I want to be
not Ava



14 thoughts on “Assumed the Name

  1. Yes, I was being kind of vague, I meant I’ve read several books, not related in any way, about someone, come home, and they did, and was it really them or an imposter? I am wandering, I know, but that’s what this poem makes me think of, someone who is or isn’t…who they are supposed to be?

  2. Can you make someone be just by calling for them and wishing they were? Like if you call the woman in the supermarket queue Ava, does that make her Ava even if she has always called herself Gemma?

  3. I remember writing this one. I was in the Arcadia University library and I started thinking about how I could hear the librarians calling to each other at the front desk, just their names (not Ava) and then I don’t know where “Ava” came from, but the poem just wrote itself, kind of.

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