the ritual of names by Ololade Edun

father does not like calling my name; he says it’s too long;
& it sounds like boredom & sometimes like grief;
& it makes his jaw hurt & he hates everything;
& every time he tries to stress them properly, he bites his tongue
& chew on his cheeks.

so, i go about bearing it all; say names
of boys i once loved; like hussein,
dhunurayne, uthman, omar, adnan, mukthar, awwal;
to make it cool; i say bailey, damien, brandon; sometimes tommy.

how fascinating it is to wear a new identity; to birth a new me;
to break forth like dawn yet be happy; since
each time i open my mouth; something new flies out;
say a new body yet unsullied.

the muezzin is out again; say things like come to god;
say sleep is not good but pray;
say everyone is welcome if you wear a bomb; he calls to me
but i do not like him but i will fuck his voice.

i think of a new name; say this one should last long;
this one must last long; but here is too cold;
so i knock on imam door; say “tell me the most beautiful name?”

“i want a name no one can resist; say the most graceful name to me please…”
he stared at me like a mad boy; say i wore only shorts
& carry a cigar & wear gold nose ring
& my dread locked & my eyes bloodshot.

imam thinks; say for three seconds; he said the name out loud; Muhammad.
my new name: Muhammad.

Ololade Edun is a contemporary creative, a microbiologist, and a medical student. He writes experimental things with interests in medicine, literature, sciences, and leadership. His works have appeared, or are forthcoming in Kalahari Review, Parousia, The Shallow Tales Review, Pawners Papers, The Scribe Post, Voice Lux Journal, & elsewhere. He tweets beautiful things @OloladeWrites. Ololade is a poetry reader for ARKore Blog, lead contributor for Tribesmen Community, and a creative podcaster for The GhostPen Project.

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