Saying Your Name

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I think about your name in my mouth, how it excited my being when spoken for the first thousand times, how it took shape, molded my mouth in expectation, formed a pattern.


A new thing becomes rote in time, the morphing of your name morphs to that pattern, the one that is not a declaration but question, an accusation of the thing I once loved to speak; it became habit, a redundancy without thrill, how a name gave way to nicknames meant to revive the act of speaking you with joy, before any legalism attached to it, a forlorn, forgotten love in vowels and consonants, of you rolling off the tongue to the delight of its sound.


I fear / know / will soon speak your name with unfamiliar boldness, speak it so loud it emerges hoarse-barked in an unseen custom font, something italicized and guttural from a depth previously unknown, knowing that call will be the first to go unanswered in a string of wailing pleas as you leave unexpected, or planned, breaking the mold cast so long ago so that it is hard to form the word as once formed, embrace its implied meaning as I did at the start.


It is the same name, emanating from the same voice, meaning the same thing but not the same thing at all. 

Thad DeVassie is a multi-genre writer and fine art painter who creates from the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. His collection, SPLENDID IRRATIONALITIES, was awarded the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2020 from SurVision Books. You can find more of his written and painted works at

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN