What is a name?
Back home, my name is my sense of belonging.
It’s what my friends call me,
How my parents beckon my presence,
How teachers measure my attendance.
How trivial is a name?
My friends often misspeak my name,
My parents confuse it with a sibling’s
My teachers skip it all together.
In each of these moments,
My name is still known and understood
It is never intentional when forgotten.
My identity is always recognized by those who love me.
Here, my name is not my name.
It still beckons me but without context.
No experiences fill it yet.
It is empty, blank,
Yet to be formed amongst the rubble of my birth name.
This disassociation leads to emotion,
Emotion leads to anger,
Anger to Pain,
Pain to longing,
Longing to acceptance.
I am not quite there,
Mam Mbay Fall is not yet my name.
It is but a facade covering my true identity.
For now, I am still Nick,
A Virginian by birth and a Kentuckian by upbringing,
Whose home is in the States.
Soon I will be there.
Mam Mbay Fall will be a part of my true identity.
I will be Nick Marx in the U.S.
And Mam Mbay Fall in Ker Mada Ro, Senegal.
But this lies farther down the road.