POETRY | Nomenclature

A poem to science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor

by Patheresa Wells


One day I will name my daughter Onyesonwu — who fears death —
so she will not live with the constant worry of dying poor and Black.
Or I will name her Binti, so she knows her lineage is rich with
history. Perhaps, I will name her Sankofa, so she knows she belongs.
Knows that there is something worth finding, even amongst what’s
broken. One day, as my mother did with me, I will have a daughter
and give her a name that others cannot pronounce. I will say, “Do
not let them shorten what I gave you. There is power in what we call
things.”


Patheresa Wells is a Queer poet, writer, and storyteller who lives in SeaTac, Washington. Born to a Black mother and Persian father, her experiences as a multicultural child shaped her desire to advocate for and amplify her community. She currently attends Highline College in Des Moines. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.

📸 Featured Image: Original photo via Alyssa Sieb (@alyssasieb) used under a Nappy.co/Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license; edits by the Emerald team.

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 900 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us get to 1,100 Rainmakers by the end of the year and keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!