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.



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