The Author Considers a Country Calling Itself a Home by Olatunde Osinaike




Since invincibility your schtick, air pollution your right-hand in the scene. It opens like a bucolic surprise with a rich miasma around you, a vapor dense enough for you to emerge from. Idolatry-like, bigger than life – that’s the allegory right there; what happens after: unscripted. The star of the moment: the becoming; the dark substance staining your skin momentarily until you wipe it off, you’re not the dark type. You’re even allowed to say get that dirt off your shoulder aloud, and this isn’t a motif, trope of suffering or anything illiberal. You can claim this lyric as your own, say you wrote it. While mounted upon your high horse. Its gallop does not bother you. You’ve taken residence in the midst of this earth quaking. Civilization overrated among

other things – juncture of energy and families nuclear. Yawning constantly, your

attitude reads like phlegm with an iota of opportunity cost, faint below

the quartets of the sun. How? The nerve. Also not important,

the way you’ve been built. You wouldn’t want

that false positive of parity leaked

to the world anyway. If it did,

someone would yell cut

and then you’d be left

standing there,

nothing but

crow lining

your diaphragm

like an antagonist:

asymmetric: ulterior:

And that just doesn’t look

becoming on you.




Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet and software developer from the West Side of Chicago. He is the author of The New Knew, forthcoming from Thirty West Publishing House in the spring of 2019. A Best of the Net, Bettering American Poetry, and Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems ‘Mercy, Mercy Me’ and ‘When My Mother Speaks of New Edition’ were recently selected by Kyle Dargan and the tandem of Safia Elhillo and Gbenga Adesina for inclusion in the 2018 Best New Poets anthology and 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, respectively. An alumnus of Vanderbilt University, his most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Palette Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Lunch Ticket, Puerto del Sol, and Columbia Poetry Review, among other publications. He is currently on poetry staff at The Adroit Journal and can be found at

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