← Issue 9

Where a Name is Buried

by Jeddie Sophronius

                for Lee Siok Lie

If your gaze were the fleeting
          crimson of dusk,

                         I would be the fool
                         chasing that dying

                                  light, hoping I could follow you

into an everlasting morning.
          I never called 

                         all the years I was away.
                        Through clouded nights

                                   and flooded mind, I remained
                        breathing, beating without you.

 I know, I’m only a child
          running away 

                         from a growing shadow. It’s no
                         use. I never called, not because

                                    I didn’t care,
                         you raised me this way: 

          a gladiola to be watered, obedient 

to the shifting of light and dark.
          You told me not to call you 

                         by your real name.
                         I grew up not knowing

                                   the faint spark hidden
                        behind its meaning. When grandma died,

          you didn’t cry, not even
                    when your siblings took turns 

to pour cologne and scatter lilies
          over her body, not even when they 

                         shut the casket. Your mother
                         buried her secret name,

                                   but perhaps you don’t have to.

Jeddie Sophronius was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia and the poetry editor at Meridian. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.