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October 30, 2017 Poetry

Two Poems

Olatunde Osinaike

Two Poems photo

A Study of Pink Eye

the first party i ever missed
was in my own dorm. out my window,
i could hear the gutter swallow
the sway and the rain, leaking jazz was
all my left eye could manage


the last time i cried,
control was all i could think of.
how soil waits for sky to give, how
sky waits for exodus, how bodies
wait for warmth to come,
the ceaseless buffering


                          when the tears come
       you shouldn’t invite them to stay


squatter’s rights is a strange concept.
take, for example, my legs
in this room bursting with exits.
when it is time to leave,
i am a rebel without a sense
of direction i bump into
every wall and call
whatever stops me


my roommate, walking up
the flight of stairs, tells me
the party ran short
and i still do not forgive
my legs, as if it is too much
pressure to see warmth
and blink contagion 


all that night
i could feel the bass against
my desk. i shook it off,
read my prescription
and a pinned tab on the
health benefits of crying.
i am a heightened fog of symptoms.


                         when the tears come    
      you shouldn’t invite them to stay


take, for example, my eyes
in this bed billowing with genesis.
when it is time to leave,
i am a sky with no body
to provide for, still
buffering at every chance
to give and calling
whatever takes this cycle


a week later, my mother calls me,
asks me if the medicine is working
i laugh, say                      yeah it is
she laugh, say             i thought so
i ask,             why you’d think that?
she say       i can tell by your voice,
                      it must’ve cleared up.
      now i can hear the rain outside.

Ode to Brown Sugar, or My Mother Says The Best Way to Hold Someone is With All of Your Being

and i think about love, how at its best it is thick, quake budding

             until i spoon it brusquely. 
             i’ve just noticed the harvest
             of my hands the last few months,
             its loyal glean, the soft shake
             to settle my ripe diligence.
             i suppose it is only right
             that i tell you i am thinking
             of only listening to the melody of
             black women from now on.
             she says you must not let fickle
              be your give and take

and i think about reflex, how at its best it is sharp, without a substitute

             at breakfast i dwell
             in this, eclipse a detour.
             before she continues,
             the d’angelo tune i want
              some of your brown sugar

             thrums through the stereo
                         and i see her pause

                         and of course i raise him
                         the beauty of layaway, how
                         love always plays hard to get,
             bet anticipation moonwalks
             up this utensil, makes my index
             tremble, next synapse be alive,
             be tentative,
             be instigator that beats me,
             be reason for prayer but not only.

and i think about my heart, how at its best it can take it, but not my astigmatism

             i’ve never witnessed a man
             ready for granular volume,
             the lifted dulcet, would ever
             derive sweet from simple from
             there she shows me a clip of
             the wedding

                         and the first dance
                         and the pseudo speed limit
                         and the vows that could sprout from my palms
                         and the advent for a chocolate neck i would kiss
                         and suddenly i can break down all these enzymes at once
                         and suddenly she is not my mother
                                      but a black woman that has never been held
                                      the way that video best holds her warmth
                         and suddenly music can not hold the room nor her
                         and suddenly i am an oasis of acoustics

and i think about metabolism, how at its best it is renewed without an end to await


image: Tara Wray