Three Luam, Three Àjàlá
An Eritrean boy at Frankfurt,
Babysitting, gardening and becoming flower,
Black adornment, a boy in lust, her mistress burning
Behind the door. A Luam; an Eritrean boy
Back on the sea, where everything smells like home.
Ìgè àdùbí; a boy with like bird,
Whose father could die, if he wish so
So be it, whose mother could become a ghost
Crawling the slow ladder of hell, a boy
Who wishes his mother grief and shows
His father the route to eternity, a boy
At Lampedusa, asking where home is
Beyond the island, the beach of crabs and cowries.
Another boy at Rome, another Axum;
Walking into the his own wrath, black coffee
Every Queen desires, a boy like his father,
Who abandoned beaded maiden for
Exotic dishes, our Polynices buried in unknown grave.
A man with dream and drive,
A green sack, a blue body, a testament of dust,
A chronicle of salt, a man in his dreamed soil
But could not walk it, our Àjàlá in a cold room.
A poet and a rock star, discrimination and acceptance,
A man at the airport, with dreams coming true,
His mother coming through, his siblings coming to stay,
A Luam doing wonders, the only Eritrean man
I want to become, the only one who breaks
The turbulence of the sea, finding his voice in a new home.
Àjàlá, the diplomat, a friend to the French Prime Minister,
A colleague to Dubai crown prince, a friend of
America, an Ambassador to the Queen, the only
Àjàlá I wish to be, Àjàlá touring the borderless world.
# Luam; a common Tigrinya name in Eritrea which means “peaceful” or “restful”. A character I adopted from Aracelis Girmay’s “The Black Maria”
Àjàlá: a Yoruba name, a name given to someone who is always traveling. Adopted from a Nigerian Diplomat who was said to have toured the world.