Sometimes I feel like an acrobat with seventy-five names.
Like I’ve been twisted and stretched,
Thrown and twirled,
And been in every bodily frame.
Sometimes it’s hard to be everyone at once,
To love your neighbor
and impress your friends.
It hurts to be grabbed and yanked across a stretch of air,
Have to tie up the loose ends.
My muscles throb, burn, and ache.
I only want to breathe,
but life wants to take.
All of the oxygen around my head is fading,
and blue fills my eyes.
Sister, daughter, friend, nerd, flute player –
Ahh! I’m not alive!
I’m Liv, just Liv.
So leave me be.
I like books,
I like fire and tea.
I like to be alone sometimes,
and pretend I don’t have one single name.
I think, childishly, I don’t take the blame.
Not Olivia, Liv, Livi, Elle, or Olive, I just turn the key.
Because seventy-five names are way too many for me.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.