If I was born a boy, I would have been my brother
by Robin Gow
but we call him “Billy”
because my dad is “Bill”
and my grandfather was also “Bill.”
I would have searched the antique market
for old leather prayer books.
I would enjoy Necco wafers and Smarties and
I would wipe their sugar-chalk on my thighs.
I would be straight.
I would like girls who smell like blackberries
and who might also vaguely believe in God
I think about this all the time
what a name does to a person.
What did my first name do to me?
After all those years.
When people say “Sarah”
I still look up
as if she’ll be there.
About the Poet:
Robin Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, the Gateway Review and the Roanoke Review. He is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Adelphi University and currently serves as the editor-at-large for Village of Crickets and the social media coordinator for Oyster River Pages. He is an out and proud bisexual transgender man passionate about LGBT issues. His first full-length collection is forthcoming with Tolsun Books.
June 18, 2019 at 4:14 PM
This really made me think. It’s crazy how a name can define someone in a way.
June 18, 2019 at 5:47 AM
This is so good🤩