Birth Certificate

Lydia Ortiz

This is the information I have about you, 
Copied line by line from my now crinkled
And faded birth certificate, folded and placed
Neatly into a folder at the top of my closet. 

Your first and last name, typed clearly. 
Your middle name: left blank. 
You didn’t have one. In place of it, I got two. 

Your signature scrawled in cursive.
I have only seen it on this document. 

Your birthday. This is the only time I’m reminded of it. 
I pass over it every year, never registering its significance. 
No one else mentions it. They probably pass over it too. 

There are grainy memories within the edges of this
Meaningless, somehow powerless certificate:
Standing in front of your closet and picking out clothes, 
Waiting for Sam at the bus stop,
You counting your tips at the end of the night. 

They mean just as much as this folded piece of paper. 
Just as much as the blank space 
Where your middle name would be. 

They are something for me to go back to 
When I have to, when I want to. 
But they don’t contain much of anything. 

Not as much as they should. 


By RyLee Weatherby

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