In 1949 Solomana Kanté completed his development of the N’Ko alphabet for the Manding languages of West Africa. The characters are written and read right-to-left and joined at the base, as with Arabic.

After a bureaucratic process of several years, in July 2006 the letters of the N’Ko alphabet were encoded in version 5.0 of the Unicode Standard. Unicode, while famous for its emoji, encodes about 160 contemporary and historical writing systems.

At the top of this page is Unicode’s NKO LETTER YA which is ߦ in HTML. “Ya,” a consonant that is pronounced like the first sound in “Yoruba,” resides in slot 2022 of Unicode’s limitless slots. This found poem is my untitled, one-letter poem for New Year’s 2022.

If you don’t see “ya,” perhaps because your browser or your set of fonts is not the latest, I suppose that’s part of the poem, too. Come back in a few years. We will hope that the legible universe continues expanding.

Happy 2022,