My name, ምዕራፍ

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:

Taste it.

it is dark and full bodied

and heavy.


Artwork by Samuel Daffa, “Coffee Time”

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