“Saying Your Names” Poem (By Richard Siken), From The Gay Movie “Beautiful Something”

A “train-of-thought” poem that I found to be both appropriate, and quite beautiful in its emotive power right at the end of a riveting movie.

Chemical names

Burn names

Names of fire and flights of snow

Baby names

Paint names

Delicate names like the bones of the body

Names that nobody has been able to figure out

Names of spells

Names of hexes

Names called out to fill the yard, calling you inside again

Calling you home

Names called out across the water

Names I’ve called you behind your back

Names of flowers that open only once

Shouted from rooftops

Muffled by pillows

Whispered in sleep

We are not traders but the lights go out

His voice on tape

His name on the envelope

The soft sound of a body falling off a bridge behind you

The body hardly makes a sound

All night I stretch my arms across him

Rivers of blood

The dark wood singing with all my skin and bone

Please keep him safe

His lips at my neck

And I do believe his mouth is heaven

His kisses falling all over me like stars

Names of heat

Names of light

Names of collision in the dark on the side of a bus

In the bark of a tree

And a ball point pin* on jeans

And hands on the back of matrix that then get lost

Your name is like a song I sing to myself

Your name is like a box where I keep my love

Your name I can nest in the tree of love

Your name like a boat in the sea of love

For now we are in the sea of love

Your name like a detergent in the washing machine

Your name like two x’s like punched in i’s

To mark the spot

To hold the place

To keep the treasure from becoming ever lost

I’m saying your name in the grocery store

I’m saying your name on a bridge at dawn

Your name like an animal covered with frost

A suit of fur

A coat of mud

A kick in the pants

A lung full of glass

The sail of winds that slap the waves in the hull of a boat

That’s sinking to the sound of mermaids singing songs of love

And the tug of a simple profound sadness when it sounds so far away

We laugh, and it puts the world against us

We laugh and our hearts turn red

The river rises like a barn on fire

It’s a bed of straw, darling

It sure shit is

Say hallelujah, say good night

Say it over the canned music and your feet won’t stumble

His face getting larger

The rest blurring on every side

And angels knocking on your head

A flash in the sky

Here is my hand, my heart, my throat, my wrist

Here are the illuminated cities in the centre of me

And here is the centre of me

Which is a lake, which is a well that we can drink from

I can’t go through with it

I can’t go through with it

I just don’t want to die anymore

* could be “pen”

By Richard Siken. 


2 thoughts on ““Saying Your Names” Poem (By Richard Siken), From The Gay Movie “Beautiful Something”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s