“My Names,” by My’Ana Inez Cooper
November 2, 2018
the last name is my dad. white. a dog full of
me as well. crooked teeth, not common but
common enough to know how to say and spell
like you know me. cooper.
my middle name is through my veins. my mom’s veins
and her mom’s veins and her mom’s. Inez,
a million languages but one meaning. pure.
a perception, a perspective, my mother.
my first name flows through you like silk
sheets slipping off your bed at 3 am,
crawling in your ear only to get stuck in
your head with memories of you and me.
but my first name is only known
if you know me
but you don’t know what it means
you know my heart.
my angel is pure. I am me, my’ana inez cooper.
with one “n”
My’Ana Inez Cooper wrote this poem while a 9th grader at Nathan Hale High School. Performed at SAL’s sold-out SAL Presents event with Phoebe Robinson on October 19, 2018, at Benaroya Hall.