Volume 28, Number 4


The demons are circling, 
closing in with their 
Tiki torches and protests 
for confederate flags,

and I'm not surprised. These devils 
I've seen before with pitchforks, lynchings, dogs 

and hoses and I've survived it all, but this illness 
in my brain lies in wait with more intensity than any 
clan can. It's funny how depression and white power

want the same destiny for me. There isn't a known
cure for either one, but I've dedicated my whole life
as a warlock searching books for a counter spell
to this curse, depressed monkeys on my back.

The sight of you brings a smile 
to my face. A simple

hello turns me into the center
of the universe. I know this 
seems weird but I like you, 

a lot and the clouds shrouding 
my sunny days are gone when I see you.

I see the next fifty years of us
in your face. The medicated lobotomy 
disappears and I become a mausoleum, 
willing to share all of our skeletons, 

all of our secrets together. All I want
is a love that makes me feel innocent, 
again, like a naive little boy. A wizard 

wishing he could will away
the haunting words of the clan, 

and the alt-right, but my black magic isn't enough 
without your love. The sound of your voice is what
my whole existence has led up to. Enslaved 

on a slave ship, carried a cross across 
my branded backside in past generations,
all for this. The feeling of your hands 
on my scalp 

birthed thousands of stars in my chest. My spells 
when well cast last lifetimes, and I know I'm appearing
like a strange deranged man but with all the hate I face

I just want to take a shot of love. You can't heal me of this 
ailment, not alone at least, and I'm aware of this, 
but my depression becomes a figment of my imagination 
around you. I just want to sing your praises, reanimate

the dead and dance every time I think of you.
I know I've only known you for a short time, 
but I can confidently say I love you,

for the very first time, I'm in love with the man 
in the mirror the face, looking back at me
and it feels so refreshing to admit that.

—Deonte Osayande