Wednesday, March 6, 2019


A Woman Should Change Her Name When She Marries

What difference does it make?
Your name isn’t your name, they say,
it’s your father’s name.
You might as well change it to your husband’s.

Think about your children.
Won’t it be weird to have a different last name then them?
You’re just being selfish.
I mean, professionally you can keep it
but socially at least you should go by his name
make it clear you’re a family.

In fact, I wasn’t even sure it wasn’t an option.
I think you might have to change your name.

Beside it’s for the best.
Now everyone will know that you two are committed
and in a real relationship.

I suppose you could always hyphen but that looks strange
and it’s almost like you didn’t want to commit yourself,
I mean,
doesn’t he feel terrible about this?
Aren’t his feelings hurt?

It’s just a name
it’s not like names have power
or that through all of history
to name something was to give it meaning.

To give it life.

It’s not like your mouth will trip over these new syllables,
even as you say them in the mirror again and again
trying to align your face with those sounds.

It’s not like your hand, a split second ahead of your brain,
will stumble through a signature that you do not know.
It’s not like when people use your new name,

you’ll stand there, in the middle of the office,
wondering how those syllables
that do not mean you
have come to represent you

or that you will look at the name writ on envelope after envelope
and wonder when you started to disappear
into a little tiny


--Ally Malinenko 

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