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To Two Names, I Must Reply

by Megan Reichel
Illustrations by David Petersen


there is a name whispered when embraced,

and there is another name that requires, in thought, to be chased.

there is a name that grows a grin,

and the other tastes like sin.

one name feels extremely hospitable,

and the other a spoken sacrifice intolerable.

one name is shouted bravely,

but the other is spoken safely.

one name receives more distinction

while the other nears the edge of extinction.


it is hard to guess which is which

because they will always switch.

at the sound of both, the owner may flinch.

the name that continues to live and thrive

stings like bees flying out of a hive.

the other is presumed a foul lie;

it is falsely accused but will never die

no matter how hard they try.

the truth is that only one should exist,

but it is the one that is bitterly dismissed.

even then, however, it will persist,

because it is fought for with an iron fist.


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