My Name by Shahé Mankerian (All About My Name Poetry Series)

Silver Birch Press

Mankerian
My Name
by Shahé Mankerian

To the American ear
Shahé is a mistake.
It’s a crazy consonant
malfunction, alphabetic
disorder. The boys at Starbucks
want to relabel me: “Shane,
your coffee’s ready!”
“Sean, non-fat latte, extra foam.”
It’s no use correcting them,
because in their world I am
wrong and they’re right.
In their world Armenian is
a typo, it should be American.
Computers often recognize me
as a verb: Shake, shave, share-
Depends who wants to play
Scrabble with me that day.
My name is Shahé;
Shale sounds nice,
but it’s not my name.
In Turkish, “Shash” means
cross-eyed peasant.
It’s not my name.
Shat is the past
tense of shit.
It’s not my name.
Shawe almost sounds
like a playwright.
Shaqe sounds like a basketball player.
Shame,
shame,
shame,
not my name.
My name is Shahé.
It has a powerful connotation of the Shah,
and a simple “héh”…

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