a rose by any other name

hi my name is admonished

sorry I mean adulterated

I mean accursed

I mean Addy

wait no nevermind

that can’t be my name

that doesn’t belong to me

it doesn’t match?

it’s not

mine

I think

when I found out that there was a doll

who looked like me

who had hair like mine

who

wonder upon wonders

shared my name

                addy: the black AMERICAN girl doll

I was ecstatic

I was young and naïve and so so so stupid

when my mother found out there was a doll

who looked like

me

who had hair like

mine

who shared

my

name

she was disgusted

                that’s a slave’s name

                that girl was a slave

                you

                are not a slave

                we are not her

                we have history

                we have a country

                why would you want a doll that doesn’t come from where you come from?

but –

                    aren’t we both black, mother?

                don’t we bleed red, mother?

                don’t we get treated the same, mother?

                ain’t no white man going to care that she was born here and I was born in Nigeria,                 ma

                black is black is black is discrimination

she didn’t see it like I did

apparently

there are shades of black

hi, my name is Adachukwu

wait, I mean Ada

you’ve never said it the way it should be said, so why should I give you what belongs to me?

but if you really care

you can call me

ah – dah – choo – koo

that’s how it’s pronounced

I think

the thing is

I’ve spent so long shortening it for you

I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be said

                the name my mother gave me

there’s the way my parents say it

loud and purposeful and like THEY KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN WHEN THEY SAY THINGS

                adachukwu (igbo translation): first daughter of god

and there’s the way my friends say it

                they don’t

and the way I say it (?)

                adachukwu (rushed and mostly unsure and this? is what i mean and I’m sorry for my culture and my skin and my pronunciation and…)

but you are welcome to try

at least one of us should

hi my name is not here

it left

it couldn’t stand the ambiguity

it’s changed so many times

it has lost its shape

I could try to remake it

but I don’t know who I’d be

the issue is

juliet was wrong

about names

and the idea that life without romeo wasn’t worth living

at least in my case

under a pseudonym

                false name

                fake name

                NOT MY NAME

I am not the same person

I am sure of that

Addy was kind and sweet and always saw the best in people

Ada was apologetic

sorry I mean aborted

sorry I mean abrasive

sorry but

I am all that’s left

*dial tone*

*click*

I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about

she doesn’t live here anymore

she

left

please leave a name message

anon

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