Her Name

She comes from a country I’ve never heard of; her name a short collection of letters, familiar, but rearranged, like the shoreline of her homeland. Across oceans, she says it to me, melodic and sweet, the seed of a dandelion caught on a breeze to settle half a world away. Its sound takes root in fissures I never noticed until its tendrils probe wounds presumed healed. Four beats and four syllables, and my tongue becomes a warped mirror uselessly reflecting a beauty it has never previously beheld. Time and heat smooth its surface, a warm laugh like sunshine and a gentle pressure like unfurling leaves. My mouth slowly learns the shape of her name. It blooms, lovely as she beneath such nurturing, though not quite as lovely as she says it, never quite as lovely as she says it. But it’s lovely because it’s her, and it’s hers, and I have the unique privilege of saying it.