it can destroy the ability

I spent my whole life contemplating a name for myself.

I was called all kinds of things:

Puta.

Hija.

Hermana.

Fat.

Ugly.

Whore.

Worthless.

Beautiful.

Angel.

Holy.

I answered to them all, 

mostly because 

I never wanted to get lost.

Recognition was vital, 

blood—

I’d lose pints of it monthly, 

I had to replenish

In my more generous years, 

when I needed concert tickets or a free pass to the museum—

I’d give my blood to whatever mobile clinic took it,

iron-deficient, still, not denied—

New Years of 2014—

numb & nauseous—

a half raw steak in my mouth 

I almost forgot my name

…but I heard it as I faded into the festivities,

Ingrid

Ingrid

Ingrid

please,

this year has left me so tired, 

/vacant

/bare

/devoid of

/bankrupt

please

just say goodnight 

forget my name…

/let me sleep into the new year—“

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