On transit, I keep turning at the mention of a double dozen names because – A Poem by Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi

On transit, I keep turning at the mention of a double dozen names because

here our tongues spiral
& spiral when a child is born
& knots itself into a dozen phrases

of praise. subtle modifiers for burning
aches. rabbits mating at the corner
of my mouth. did you really think

you could escape nomenclature? at
the naming a turbaned cleric
nails a foreign word into my skull. calls it

first name. & names wielding
native diacritics follows. & my father
stamps a Yoruba name

to my chest & another. & mother. &
an aunt. & an uncle. & another.
& another. & great-grandpies i only meet

in old photo albums. & for each
foreign name i carry
a double dozen home-grown

names eclipse in the background.
half of which
even mother barely recollects.

Muiz Opeyemi Ajayi, a young poet and writer, is a Law undergraduate of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He writes on diverse subjects including identity, contradictions and uncertainties. He has works featuring/forthcoming on Nigerian News Direct, Fiery Scribe Review, Brittle Paper, Ice Floe, Spillwords, Sledgehammer Lit and elsewhere. He was second runner-up in the 2021 PROFWIC Poetry Contest. Asides Law and Literature, he’s intrigued by sport and music. He’s @muiz_ajayi on Instagram and @opendites on Twitter

Art & layout: Robert Frede Kenter, (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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