thique theopoetique
We Speak Our Names to the Morning Light

We Speak Our Names to the Morning Light

a spoken word poem on generational resilience

I wrote this poem in the summer of 2022 and preformed it for the Roots.Wounds.Words writing community. It is a poem meant to be an audible family tree as it details generational resilience and abolition as heirloom.

Photo by Yara on Unsplash

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we speak our names to the morning light

when cinnamon cereal turns the milk to horchata
hungered mouths fill, sleep-drained eyes fade
we speak our names to the morning light
dawn doesn’t grow weary—delighting in hearing
children’s minds, tongues, and fluttering Sankofa birds
conjur who we are in names

Hernandez is the name of your father
Do not think of conquistadors’ sons
Practice rolling your R’s 
think of Bisabuels’s birria
How spoons roll in pots of love, adding
casa-grown vegetables—this name tantalizes tastebuds
emphasize the D to remember abuelo’s migration
To a state that needed his hands and discarded his soul
D is for Delano grape strike
Filipine and Latine solidarity, unionizing, labor strikes
Let the D sting in other’s ears—clutch back
souls this country tried to steal

Brown is next
Holding itself, a mystery
We don’t know the names of our ancestors
so we created new names. granddad chose
brown as he fled the KKK. Mississippi dirt
Held him up while the lynching rope beckoned
Him to sway—But I want you to think of the
Seeds our mothers braided into hair.
It is a hair-itage to be Brown. People
Speak poorly of dirt unknowing
it carried our seeds and rooted our feet.
Teaching us to pray with our legs
Marching on.. and on… and on…

Panganiban, the name of your Lola
It is an oooooold word that means danger
Not: destined to be dangerous
But: destined to survive, you come
From people who chose life despite conquest
imperialists searched for my lola,
every girl, and shaman in the barrio
Convinced our people were the only
Comfort from war. One day you will understand
Earth hates conquest, will do
All it can to protect the flower from rape
and erasure. You exist now because
Your great grandparents were cradled by caves

We do not own trinkets, heirlooms, or gems
We hold memories in our dreams
stories live in our sinews
YES—we are poor in coin and rich with abolition
close your eyes and hear their freedom songs
smell herbs steaming from a pot of love
And if you sit in the silence long enough you’ll feel the rock
That became the shield that became the altar
Where they prayed for you

Remember this: survival is a bomb exploding in the face of a vengeful god
And there is nothing more fragile than the ego of that we refuse to worship
My children—you are a miracle and miracles need to be proclaimed
Often, early, and as soon as possible. My children, this is why
we speak our names to the morning light

thique theopoetique
This is a podcast the provides somatic meditations and (occasionally) conversations for people who are healing from high control environments and seeking to envision a world where dignity and agency are at the center.
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