Written by Mhraf Worku
As the memory of my mother faded away,
my tongue started to roll differently
and the words spilling out of my lips changed their tune.
And so, when you asked for my name, i gave you one that was not mine.
It sounded less terrifying, less commanding.
I chipped away at it to make it softer,
less of a threat.
Now I know, my head will only turn when your tongue rolls like my mother’s
and my name spills out of your lips like it slipped out of hers,
the first time she called my name.
listen closely: my name is not mine alone.
Ringing through each syllable are the stories of those that came before me
Try it, take my name into your mouth and take your time with it:
it is dark and full bodied
Artwork by Samuel Daffa, “Coffee Time”