What Is My Name

WHAT IS MY NAME? That is not my name. What is my name? Well, I tell you. They call me Janet simple enough, but it does not feel right on my tongue. My name feels like it is in my throat fighting to be pronounced- to be heard, to be seen, to fly and swirl on sweet breezes and north winds. Like my name is meant to dance on butterflies’ wings, sip on rain dew, laugh and dance in elaborate colored garbs singing to the stars gleefully while my ancestors are smiling on me pleased.
My name shakes in fear and screams to be heard; it is shackled. My name is bounded by nails and iron, it tries to scream in the darken shadows over the sound of swollen oceans of water and tears. I hear my mother somewhere she is yelling my name, yet I cannot speak my name please God do not let me forget my name. My nostrils are choked, and I gargle molded fungi, my body is covered in slop and ravaged by rats, God if can just remember my name, I can go home, we can go home. It is up to me to just say my name. Beaten and innocent stolen, please, please, please just tell me my name.
I hide, I walk, I run, I march, my sign reads: Freedom now! Rights now! Why is this Mr. Crow so cruel, what have I done to him? Melodies of jazz tease the telling of my name, strange fruit I see and My Skin Black, yes sir, it is and yes, I know I will rise but, what is my name; how does it correctly pronounce? … No, it not Martin or Rosa and even X will not suffice, they are all nice names but, they are not mine however, you can call me that for now. –
I tell you, I feel like royalty right about now; deposed royalty, as these dogs nip at my heels in front of this greatly dressed crowd as if they just came from church, though they are not shouting Hallelujah. I wonder if they know their names. Do they remember singing to their ancestors that live in the stars or watching a gazelle give birth, catching a fish with their father or sewing a nice dress with their mother? Last time I heard my name it was though the woes of my mother’s cry; I pray one day I can hear her voice calling my name. For now, I just will take this piece of paper the “man” gave me that says: I am equal now. I do not know if the dog bites were worth it, but the “man” said if I keep getting these papers, I would be free, but he did not know my name.
Come home! Find your name! The travel agent tells me just pay this much; haven’t I previously paid enough? I could have sworn that an ARM was part of the body, that is what he told me in school. Seems to me that my ticket to a home should be free, If I cannot even pronounce my name how I am supposed to repay the man for his piece of paper and this dwelling that promise to give me my name in his world; travel agent must wait.
I did not ask to come here but, I did make the best of a bad situation, didn’t I? Could you? I just want to be able to say my name before it’s too late in the day; my cause is not mine any longer but for my sons and daughters. Oh! we will be so happy to shout our name from the mountain tops, a rejoicing sound to ascend to stars to let ancestors know we are here, and we know who we are; the 2nd coming, I think that what they called it. Oh, I am sorry….. What is your name?

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