All In a Name

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:39 -- Alonyia

My name is a tattoo that I never got to choose
From birth
I was kicked out bass ackward and stamped black
They flipped me over and deemed me female
I grew some more and the term curvacious snuck onto my resume like some thief in the night
And still the names kept on coming.
I found my face in this category called pretty and
Located my soul in something they liked to label religion.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that tongue twisting
4 syllable
7 letter word
People threw around like diamonds in the dust
Left imprints on my lungs from the exasperation
Of the explanation still lingering on my tongue
A.Looo.Nia
The bane of every souvenir keychained kiosk
The racially ambiguous, exotic melody of confusion
That I'd find myself compromising to meet the comfort level of
Strangers on the street, barristas in starbucks, and hostesses at any resturaunt demanding a reservation
Because 4 extra letters are just too much to take in at once
So just.. call me Nia
Big Booty
Serene Resonance
Tall Girl
Phat Girl
Loni
Star

I simplify my name
My self
Contort it to fit your perception
Revise my story down to syllables and phrases
Hoping laymen's terms
Will have broken my essence down
Small enough for you to swallow
So here I am
Alonyia Star Young Godfrey

I came from bloody knees to bloody belts
Sticks stones and broken bones
I came from the countless bags of peppermint tea in hours upon hours of therapy sessions
I came from Babolonyin Star Young, and Latanya Goldwire
The love story of a sperm donor and an enabler
I originated in the fingertips of Lutfiyyah Muhamed Ali as she weaved peaceful hopes
Over the tirade that was my 6 year old life
With aloe vera leaves and curry spices
I came from lies, dreadlocks, and Arabic prayers
From my first encounter with religion
And my first fight with the devil
Fist fight, I mean
Because where I come from there was no other way
While others were making their first friends
I was making my first fist
I AM, West Oakland, California
I
I was born into violence,
Guns, sweat and tears
Decorated my childhood like lilies in the springtime
I came from goody bags and body bags greeting me when I came home from school

I come from 14 fosterhomes
5 different medications
4 cowardly men
3 disorders
2 Child Protective Agencies
Adoption
Auzalea and Danny Godfrey
I came from learning how to smile under sunlight speckled rainstorms
From loss
From the Muslim Star to the Christian Cross
I came from inevitable love and unequivocal affection
I come from purpose, wisdom, diligence, and faith.

This imprint
This catcall
This 7 letter, 4 syllable phrase
Coloring my vocabulary with ferocity
Something like N-bombs in the night
This is who I am.
Nia
Big Booty
Serene Resonance
Tall Girl
Phat Girl
Loni
Star
Alonyia Star Young Godfrey
Say it right, or don’t say it at all.

This poem is about: 
Me

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