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Two Poems by Deonte Osayande | Word Riot

March 16, 2014      

Two Poems by Deonte Osayande


When the thunderstorm was above us
a few days ago, I dropped a sunflower seed
in a puddle by accident. Now it is in the block of ice
filling the pothole cratered road.
It is frozen much like my disposition
in this country,
in this city,
in this house with you,
trying to evade hand held mortar shells,
fired by amateur soldiers,
sending ripples when they drop
through our homes, seeds into the water,
waiting for a shattering to grow.

Negotiating Loss

I’m gaining weight in terrible,
the scale, tipped to heavy with my grief.
The fat of it doesn’t negotiate.
Every time I write,another pound of loss,
a couch swallowing change,
keys to places nobody wants unlocked,
like the home with flickering lights in my chest.

Women in my sternum
have become ornaments on ships
other men captain. Something beneath my skin
still wants them to come back from the sea.
I have missing persons posters
for people I have never met
pinned up to the insides of my ribcage.

Hope is the home with flickering lights in my chest.
I wish the switches were being flipped
by an occupant other than me
but it is really the short circuiting I deal with.

Just yesterday I blamed my mother,
nobody wants a man who cares this much,
enough to make himself weak
over and over again, for something as simple as a kiss.

Shallow graveyards sit in my memory.
I never forget any times the trust has died.
It comes back up, every time I bury another one
born between me and someone else.
With every secret I tell, repeated to me by a stranger
another eulogy.

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 10.34.06 PMAbout the author:

Deonte Osayande is a poet, performer and instructor from Detroit, Mi. His poems have appeared in many journals including The Missing Slate, Prime Number Magazine and Camroc Press Review. If not traveling he spends most of his time teaching through the Inside Out Detroit Literary Arts Project, taking care of his friend’s cats, and avoiding winter.

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