Poem: J.A. Dela Cruz-Smith

Love Letter from Impostor Syndrome

Dear Evening’s biography of you forgetting your own name—

To all the evenings that pass,
you no longer look like your name.
Let’s stop playing games.
A name is silent, just hanging from branches,
language coy with vulnerability, fruit and
its flies of liars—you, included.
What have I told you? This
evening pauses for a moment:

This evening comes up for air
and sinks back down again like sweet symphony.
Your name, caught in a conductor’s fist.
You have no melody. This song is not long enough.
Ah, my daily ear, are you embedded in me?
Avoidance, a void’s dance. That is what you are.
How did you do this to me?
You kissed your naming when you found it in a fist.

This evening the fist will open:

Where do I come from?


What are the limits of power?

The mechanics of weather systems.
You pour into your name.
Its tree flowers in the gust.
There is something killed in your stomach,
you inchoate timeline, my love. The evening
has its bouquets to ruminate with.
I cut them from your name, the difference between
authenticating a self and simply saying a name.
I’ve left
them all at your table to remember me by.


Submit a comment