It Starts With Your Name

Someone telling you how to pronounce your name
Is like them telling you how to breathe
The essence of your breath
More than just phonetics
An attempt to redefine you
A redefinition you did not ask for
And when you are hostile to this takeover
Surprise bubbles
Shocked at your resistance
Amazed that you are not welcoming their colonization of your existence
It starts with your name
Emphasis now placed where there was none before
An ‘ah’ there an ‘oh’ here
And suddenly
So fleetingly
You lose yourself
For they have refined your name and the meaning within

Author’s Notes: I wrote this because I have encountered too many people that have told me that I pronounce my name Sa-Low-Me incorrectly. Instead of asking me how I pronounce it, they dictate and then resist my resistance to this dictation.

Creative Credits

Text: Voices by Salome Coker
Visuals: Rebel Heart by Udegbunam TBJ