More Than Just A Body

I really liked this art by Kayleigh Causton.

i don't normally turn people into poetry mid-conversation.

but there was something about the way you said my name -
like a west coaster gone east,
jokingly dropping your voice down an octave
so you could capture the essence you imagined my past to be.

you showed me that the question shouldn't be what's in a name
but how you wear the name.

it doesn't matter that my name is maria.
because it could've easily been mary or mariah or maritza or marie or mariella or mariam.

i would still carry the sweetness they see and the spice you see.
i would still wear the accidental side-pony you've come to appreciate.
and you would still have a waterfall of curls spilling out the front of your hat.

go ahead, say my name again in every accent & dialect - tell me if anything changes.

we were talking like iris murdoch & john bayley
and i told you how i felt objectified in both work & play...
just a body that corporations can make money off of.
just a body that exists solely for the pleasure of mindless men.
i felt like a catherine earnshaw or rose dewitt bukater -
a victorian woman owned by anyone and anything with money.

but you -
powered on nothing but adderall & jasmine tea,
were the only one who understood.
you saw me as a boss.

for a moment,
i was more than just a body.

that day,
you were a personified self-help book,
a kendrick song put to life.

i didn't have to listen to you -
you were listening to me.

you told me you wanted me to write about you.
nervously, i laughed, "one day. one day."
little did you know
your body would become a statue built from my words,
as i wait at the bus stop a few blocks away.

with falsified plans and dusty numbers lost among contact lists,
you decided to let me go.
why pretend we'll keep in touch?
you left it up to chance, & i may never see you again,
& i don't think i want to.

i appreciate you for your existence, your words, and your time.

i live in a shell,
so i can't blame people when they don't want to crack me.

but people like you are the reason i left the nest for.

you said my name one last time.
i smiled back at you, cinematic & uninspired.
"I'll see you when I see you."

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