Olatunde Osinaike


during the last test i was given,
i spoke with my eyes only. often

scrambling between the nosy
polygraph of my arduous screen

and my index penciling
some former hieroglyphic.

but who was i then that could say i didn’t
see this coming. i am an understudy

in love with tangents. if i had
a type it would be a tantamount

to be determined, i am beyond
restless when there are answers with abandon

so i continue to sleep upon my folded pillow—
better to get both sides of the story before the cycle begins.

better to be a stenographer than
witness to the panache of a gallery.

all i have are these exponents hovering
over me insidiously attached

to the hip, to the median of my blink.
which is to say, of course, there is all of this

anxiety, when uncertainty stains
even the eraser. of course, my desk

is lopsided and veracity is a mountain
of imperfect i add to. how could i not opt

into a moot quibble, how could this
not end the way it was supposed to—

a boon fresh with fizzle, carbonated by all
that i am fledging to, pledging to feel.

Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet originally from the West Side of Chicago. He is Black, still learning and eager nevertheless. An alumnus of Vanderbilt University, his most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Apogee Journal, FreezeRay Poetry, Split Lip Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Black Napkin Press, and the Heavy Feather Review, among other publications. He is also working on publishing his first chapbook.


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