Reach Back and Get It

Fiction reprint. Originally published in Black Mirror Magazine August 2014.

I never wanted to know my name.

Mama whispered it to me while I was still in her womb. She murmured through a heavy wet Southern summer to cool her fevered skin.

I never wanted to know my name.

Mama held me in strong brown hands, her fingers curled around my soft
skull and murmured into the tiny curls at my temples.

I wouldn’t hear it.

Mama growled my name when I ran wild and full of pubertal self-loathing.

I could not hear my name.

Mama held me and cooed my name when I curled in her lap confused and
heartbroken.

I could not hear my name.

Mama whispered my name, as she lay sick and nearly dead. Her voice
full of the pull of our ancestors into the next world.

I heard my name.

And I cried when I said goodbye.

Sankofa, Sankofa is my name.

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