• Editor

name tag -- Lennon Hodges

I was 13 when my birth name stopped feeling right

The girl it was cut, sewn, and created for was now rough around the edges,

burned in the center, and stained with ink and blood

The girl it called for was no longer there


Your name is supposed to grow with you

There should be warmth and comfort in the familiar syllables and letters


But the letters began to constrict

like your favorite childhood dress you tried on one day

to find it was too rigid in all the wrong places


The nomenclature felt like icicles raking on my skin,

Almost painful on someone’s tongue


My name stopped being who I was and became who I was told to be


And then syllables that meant little blackbird and lover wormed their way into my mind


And they felt like a brand new suit, cut, sewn, and tailored just for me




Lennon is a non-binary poet living on the West Coast. They spent their days reading and writing stories and music. Their work has also been published on the Teen Ink website.

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