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Named

Written by: Stephen Dunn | Biography
 He'd spent his life trying to control the names
  people gave him;
oh the unfair and the accurate equally hurt.

Just recently he'd been a son-of-a-bitch
  and sweetheart in the same day,
and once again knew what antonyms

love and control are, and how comforting
  it must be to have a business card -
Manager, Specialist - and believe what it says.

Who, in fact, didn't want his most useful name
  to enter with him,
when he entered a room, who didn't want to be

that kind of lie? A man who was a sweetheart
  and a son-of-a-bitch
was also more or less every name

he'd ever been called, and when you die, he thought,
  that's when it happens,
you're collected forever into a few small words.

But never to have been outrageous or exquisite,
  no grand mistake
so utterly yours it causes whispers

in the peripheries of your presence - that was
   his fear.
"Reckless"; he wouldn't object to such a name

if it came from the right voice with the right
  amount of reverence.
Someone nearby, of course, certain to add "fool."



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