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Today, One Throne Magazine

"Backing into the Void" by Red Tweny.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.

TODAY
by Deonte Osayande
 

Today, I brush my teeth until I draw

blood that isn't mine. I've swallowed

so many names belonging to the dead. When

 

asked how I'm doing I want to say don't come

to me for water. My hole in the ground

hasn't been dug yet. I'm not well. I can't recall

 

if I've washed my face today. I'm not the morning person

I want to be. I shower with sunlight

in hopes that I will grow out of all of this

 

which I have become. I'm not the mourning person I want

to be. My sister did with her life what quarterbacks get paid to do.

My sister did what speeding drivers do to slow cars

 

on the highway. My sister did what good students do

in their favorite class. That is to say I've never been taught

how to handle when someone passes. I shy away

 

from most people these days, as they smile

like poachers and I'm the elephant in the room. I want

to believe them when they say everything will be alright

 

but I just become a filled water cooler around their casual

conversations. Despite how many of my buttons will be pressed.

I won't shed a drop. I won't lose my layers, I won't shed a tear

 

like I want to. I won't become old brakes screeching. I won't

be a hammer punching through walls like I want. I'll swallow

it all again, like a hole in the ground, like the well unseen.

 

Deonte Osayande is a writer from Detroit, Michian. His poems and essays have been published in over a dozen publications and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has been a member of the Detroit National Poetry Slam Team multiple times. He's currently teaching English at Wayne County Community College, and through the Inside Out Detroit Literary Arts Program.

 

 
 
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