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

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 is currently pursuing a B.A. in creative writing. 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.

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