My Name (loosely based on Sandra Cisnernos’s “My Name”)

It’s Elizabeth, it’s Lisa, it’s Hastings, it’s Rosenman, it’s too many combinations of names on letters in the mail. It’s wondering whether Elizabeth or Lisa has to go on a form, whether the form is important enough to get the full name I don’t use.

It’s Elizabeth for Queen Elizabeth, Lisa because they liked it too, and both because they couldn’t decide between them and read Lisa could be a nickname for Elizabeth. (Would’ve been Jonathan if I were a boy—not very regal.) The books say: Elizabeth=consecrated by God. Lisa=nickname of Elizabeth. A derivative of consecration?

It’s Elizabeth on the first day of school, registering for classes, at the doctor. Don’t get too many odd responses to my correction of Lisa, but it’s not like I’m asking to be called George.

Two Lisas I know are Elisabeths, but with that s, that beautiful s. I wouldn’t trade the z for the s but it sure is pretty. The s makes the Lisa natural.

It’s my Dad saying “Lis,” and Heather and Amber too, who somehow know to say Lis in a way that makes me feel childhood in my chest.

It was Lisa in the 70s when everyone was Lisa; we were Lisa H. and Lisa S. at school. Lisa S. kicked me once, and it was a Lisa fight. In the 80s, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam. At the school I’m at now, there’s Lisa C. and Lisa D., and I haven’t even been there long enough to be called Lisa R. I’m just a glance at at my ID.

Elizabeth’s been on the top ten list for decades. Classic. My daughter’s middle name, now.

I meant to transform into Elizabeth when I moved to Ohio, but just couldn’t do it. I’m stuck in Lisa, and Lisa’s stuck in me.



2 responses to “My Name (loosely based on Sandra Cisnernos’s “My Name”)

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