Now that our parents put their prayers
on our necks like grinding stone,
what are we to do?
Don't you see how they name us;
wealth, praise, promise, god hears.
How do we become amen?
Because my body
has been returning back to the earth
& god is not hearing my nocturnal grief.
I hear that naming has power
& these clerics are pouring their paranoia
into this smouldering ember.
Since wealth lies beneath the sea
& promise is bleached bone in the teeth
of the Sahara, how long
will I pretend that I am yea & amin?
What name is a body
that resists connotations?
What identity is a body without agency
in this city where vultures are gods
& hyenas mock the night?
My friend, where is your trauma situated?
How many days have you breathed
on your bed & called that living?
Yet I rise to the occasion.
I lay hands on my body & say be healed.
After, don't you always gather your rucksack
of meat & bones & bring it back
to your father's house to be buried
where the dogs cannot scratch?
What is in a name?