Erin Akins: “(Un)birthday”

I have become something
hard to name. A poster in the campus
commons taunts ‘what makes you, you?’
and I dodge the question by laughing
at the jokes. Somebody writes
in the corner about their guacamole
identity. Another girl writes of the books
she reads, and I wonder if everything
I know about myself I learned
from others. Can’t explain the discomfort,
but I know the jokesters feel it too;
we are escaping it together. Eventually
I peel away to class, make some points
about Othello, get a little too
distracted, then drown my thoughts
in music as I take the bus.


Erin Akins (she/her) is a writer and literature PhD student living in Austin, Texas. Her poetry has previously appeared in The South Florida Poetry Journal.