My Name Was Once An Argument

by Sharon Alexander

I answer Yes to Thunder Sky, Shrieking Hawk, Firefly.

My name is the color of cactus bloom: tangerine, tiger stripe,
marigold, marmalade, spice.

You can call me
Lightning Strike, Tidal Wave, Raven’s Eye.

My name was an argument my parents had.
(I heard it from inside.)

Scarlett, my mother said. Then I heard nothing
but her blood.

Over my dead body my father replied — the only argument
he ever won.

Or you can call me
Scarlet Fire, Hurricane, Riptide.

My name, the aroma of desert rain,
soaks the Smoke Trees.

I slip my name under my pillow, hold its darkness beneath my tongue:
Black-Eyed Honey Running Naked in a Field of White Horses.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

A transplanted New Yorker, Sharon Alexander now lives in Southern California. She divides her time between the mountains in Idyllwild and in the desert at the foot of the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains east of Palm Springs.

Finishing Line Press released Sharon’s first collection of poetry, VOODOO TROMBONE, in 2014. Her poetry has or will appear in various journals including Naugatuck River Review, Caliban On-Line, Redheaded Stepchild, Slipstream, Pearl and San Pedro River Review. In addition, her poetry can be found in the following anthologies: Beyond the Lyric Moment (Poetry Inspired by Workshops with David St. John); Spectrum (140 So Cal Poets) and The Poetry Box (Poeming Pigeons).


OK. I REALLY like this poem! Great job, Sharon! Really, great job!
N. Muma Alain, Jun 21, 2016