A Woman Named

by Linea Jantz

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

-William Shakespeare

A mycelium of cat hair clings to her clothes, hands freckled snake skin, a tessellation of lines leading to fortunes feathering into endless splits and alternate realities. She drinks a ginger turmeric tisane, or is it ptisan, what’s in a name really but small creatures on a spinning rock in the infinite void struggling to place boundaries on possibilities and fluid identities? She recently read a rather thought-provoking article by James Prosek on the failure of names… She never thought she would learn so much from trout. The household feline emeritus and her new dog eye each other from opposite ends of the couch, dog at her feet, cat at her shoulder. She lies along the length of the couch, turning a critical falconer’s eye to the screen of her laptop, where to cut, where to encourage. For most of these writers she is nothing but a name at the bottom of an email. A man on Plenty of Fish once told her that swifts romance the air like no other flier. She was greatly taken with his turn of phrase, until she realized he had plagiarized it from a magazine article. The dating pool gets shallower as she ages. Is it so bad to grow old without entanglements, uncaged by titles like Mrs. and Mama? Strolling the forest whenever she chooses, a self-sufficient silver sorceress, encircled by beloved familiars of  the animal world, letting only the sun caress her skin. She notes with annoyance that her drink is growing cold. She does not want to get up to reheat it, so she sips tepid spice water and counts her blessings, not least of which is that she is adept at realizing when she is talking to an idiot, whether in-person or on the internet. She is no swift desperate to pull romance from the air.

Linea Jantz has worked in a wide range of roles over the years including waste management, paralegal, medical records staff, educator, and most recently freelance writer. Her journalism can be found in publications including The Dyrt Magazine, Singletracks, and the The Spokesman Review. Her poetry featured most recently in Thimble Literary Magazine, Eastern Washington University’s yearly anthology InRoads, and Like the Wind global running magazine. She has work forthcoming in BirdHouse Magazine and the F*ck the Patriarchy anthology by poetry press Sunday Mornings at the River.

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