POETRY CORNER “THE TASTE OF OUR NAMES” BY AJISE VINCENT

the taste of our names

regardless of what the sun’s puissant ray
may tell you of the taste of my flesh,
i am not an emissary who curbs war
and revolts with waves of abandon, bartering
my blackness for packs of bribes
that comes in prayers & eulogies of twelve religions.

rather, i am the name of a man battered
by the harsh whispers of spite, by an eloquence
of lawyers whose tongues are mapped
by geographies of success, globes shaped
like adam’s apple (literally).

i am the ash on sidi bouzid, searching
for the arabic nomenclature for scream, the
tiny providence on the lips of tunisians
that will just say bouazizi.

i am the drowned ghosts of refugees, the
one-minute silences invented by daughters
who only hear about their fathers on confessions
by pirates smooching wooden crosses.
I am the soft natter of juveniles,
the erratic swirl of chibok’s gospels, riding
on the scent of betrayal from judas’ kiss.
 
i do not have the algorithms to night’s tempest shades,
millenniums crumbling into fragments of decay.
but, this is how i thwart pain, by recounting
the jaded edges of our ancestry with songs,
unmaking chaos.

 

AJISE

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