I’d given her so many pet names over the years and she’d always abided. Honey lamb, sweetie, pudding-pop, baby, sugarplum, kitten. My lover, my partner, my friend, in the end they were only labels, poorly indicative descriptors for their innards, simply something to write out and slap over minor misconceptions we both agreed on. Needing to know now what we couldn’t, we spent years assigning designations and designing abstractions, showing our friends and easing our fears. Together we made a maze of nomenclature and died inside its nadir. The last name I ever gave her was her own.

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