2.21.18 – home

I just wanna go home

home to my uncles T O and M, I called them Uncle TOM when I was four

I just want to go home, home to my momma

between you and me, I call her Mommy, but her hugs make me feel more secure than four walls ever could

and I don’t like being touched

I don’t like feeling confined

but none of that matters when I’m home, because when I’m home, I have meaning


I’m not just five syllables strung together, no

when I’m home, I’m an honor

I know my dad named me for his mom, but to me? Iya ni wura? my mother is as precious as gold

when I’m home, I am the truth

because my momma?


and her momma?


and her momma?

I’m sure she was



but she’s Home now

if only she could’ve waited a little longer

I know she’d been around for me times five minus five, but I would give anything for five minutes with her

my momma told me that that thing I do when I sit, the way I sway and bounce, the way I can’t keep still, she said I got that from her momma’s momma

she told me that her momma’s momma loved rice

when have I ever turned down carbs?

she told me that since that’s her momma’s momma, I should already know what she was like

and I know she meant to imply that her momma’s momma was crazy, just like her momma is, but I’m sure she was perfection


did you know my great grandma was a princess?

her daddy was a king, so before she got married she had to ride around the village on a horse, and if the horse didn’t poop, that meant she wasn’t a virgin

horse poop

determined your virginity

anyway, that’s just how it was back then, back home

but sometimes, I wonder how much my home defines me

confines me

because if you were to ask me, I’d tell you i’m Nigerian, I just live in Jersey

but leave me alone in Ibadan for five minutes, and I’d get lost in that city

I don’t even know how we’d get there, my Nigerian passport expired years ago, and I was gonna renew it over February Break but then my momma’s momma’s momma died so…

anyway, I just don’t know

because when I go home, if I start to sway and bounce my momma asks me “ki lon ṣele”, and she doesn’t call me Yani, or even Wura

she calls me Yetunde

that’s what my momma named me, because my momma’s daddy’s momma went to her Home just two months before I got to mine

Yetunde, my mother has come back

I am the worth of a mother, the return of a mother, do you see where my importance lies?

when I’m with my momma, I’m safe and sound in the home she builds around me, and when I’m with my momma’s momma I’m well fed, physically and spiritually

and I know that’s how they felt when they were with my momma’s momma’s momma

but she’s Home now

and I’m here, wishing and praying to go to a home that defines me without confining me, a home where I fear no one’s touch, a home where I have worth, a home I can return to

I don’t always know where that is, but I know I’ll always have my momma

and my momma’s momma

and my momma’s momma’s momma

I am a continuation

I am royalty

I am perfection

I am priceless

because of my home


2.11.18 – Somebody knew

I feel like… I don’t know who

but I feel like somebody new


I’ve been told that my voice sounds like the moon


I don’t know what the moon sounds like


so now, I study it at night

I wanna find myself in it


I’ve been told that my life looks like the Son


now I know what the Son looks like, but I still study Him at night

so I can find myself in Him


I’ve been told that I am fearfully and wonderfully made

full of fear, yet full of wonder


I’m not talkin bout that, “mommy, I’m scared, can you read me a bedtime story?”

I’m talkin bout, “mommy, when you held me in your belly, I was being built piece by piece to be somebody new by Somebody Who knew me before you did, Somebody Who knew my story and my song, Somebody Who knew everything I could do and everyone I could be, Who knew me”


do you know who I am?


I am full of fear

fear to be up on this stage, to be here at this stage in my life where I feel like I need to have all the answers

it’s like I’ve learned how to juggle this that and the third, but the word I was missing was balance, because every amazing feat I complete is easily defeated if I’m not steady on my feet

If I’m not ready


I am full of wonder

do you know what wonder is?

I wonder if you wonder about the fact that you’re alive

I wonder if you look just to look, just to realize that you can see and you know your reds from your blues and your socks from your shoes and you just know

or maybe you can hear that half step between dissonance and harmonies, maybe you can draw stick figures with symmetrical arms cuz see, I can’t do that

and I wonder what it’s like

I wonder if you can rub your head and pat your belly

isn’t that silly?

when I go out and I study the moon and I look and I wonder, I wonder how someone could say it’s just a projection in the sky

isn’t that silly?

and then when I step in and I study the Son and I look and I wonder, I wonder how someone could say that this is a reflection of I

isn’t that silly?


do you know who I am?


I don’t recognize myself sometimes, but I like who I’m becoming

and I feel like Somebody knew that I would