The Beginning of a Name

by Conan Tan | November 20, 2023

So what if a name is a betrayal
of eyes? How the vowel catches

fire in the threat of tongue but
refuses to die. Every morning

begins with revolution: a boy learns
all the ways a body can break

into truth. & that is to say, a boy
learns to love. To stand in a crowd

& sharpen the blade of a voice.
To watch gunpowder kiss the sky

into light & stop pulling the safety
before walking out. Because

a pronoun can be so many violent
griefs: a trigger, a home, another name

for God. & because the bravest
thing a person can do is bear

the exit wound of being alive.

Words by Conan Tan. Art by Federica Pescini.