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audio: Christening
audio of Tatiana Forero Puerta's poem, Christening

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Tatiana Forero Puerta



      I’ve started to baptize my pets
      after the things we’ve lost:

      my dog Brooklyn, after the place we first kissed;
      my cat Winter, after the season
      that changed us.

      Each day I repeat the names
      of my pets, and am reminded
      of a chasm

      I fill with mindless
      repetition. Brooklyn,
      let’s go to the park.

      Winter, get off the couch.
      Today I named my bonsai

      and the ladybug that made its way onto
      my headboard Love.

      On Mondays I write my to-do list:
      water Loyalty; make sure Love
      gets plenty of sunshine.

      I will continue my naming ritual
      —turning our memories into nouns
      I can grasp—until the day
      the minutiae of daily duties
      outweigh their initial meaning


      until all our memories have been
      christened with the trivial, and our

      marriage has dissolved
      into yesterday’s