After Audre Lorde

I give birth & my lover renames me

ray of light in Yorùbá. He

says to me:

‘Iná, you have made my world


He holds our son

to the sky,

and says:

‘Iná, you have illuminated

the darkest of river beds

with this gift’


our family tree is rooted

in you’

If the earth spun to my every whim

I would have stayed with him,

to supplement his sun

with new light

Each day

would have birthed

a lineage,

a legion

of brown-bodied

baby boys

who would grow

to host naming ceremonies

in women’s wombs

but I grew ill

and my light grew dim

and his Iná was no more


light hits water

and reflects

light hits water

and through our Omi

I reach for life:

the waves of the sea

are my child’s hands

& each morning

I reach for them,

watch him grow,

touch the shore

my son,

my Omi

and each night I disappear

with my lover’s light

as the moon stands in

for him, for us

Before the moon wanes again

we shall come together

On a night of the full moon,

you can hear the wolves

howl my song:

Olówó orí mi 

Ọkọ mi 

Do you hear the stillness afterwards?

As if the earth wants to know

why Iná no longer sings

her own song

Tell the terrain

that Iná is a ghost

who left her refrain

in wild animals’ throats

Everything with breath is an heirloom

Iná left

Hear her:

In the water, in the air, I loom.

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