Deonte Osayande

Deonte Osayande is a young poet, a two time Dudley Randall Poetry Contest Winner, a former Presidential Ambassador of the University of Detroit Mercy and co-winner of the Howling Wolf Chapbook Contest at the University.



My hometown is a city of drains.
I am an empty bathtub myself,
an expendable drink
stained with no one’s thirst.

When bathing I submerge myself beneath ear filling water.
My last lover’s moans drown beneath the pipes.
For far too long I have been a glass of lemonade
in a house without sugar, the bitter taste.
It lingers when I read the newspaper.


After the first month everyone forgets missing babies


After the second nobody recalls women thrown about like baggage.


After the first year can anybody remember little girls
who die while dreaming on their grandmother’s couch?

My hometown’s tragedies never washes out.
I can’t forget the scabbing scars,
scum my soul bathes in, a ring around a tub.
It has a tart taste like the regularity of murder.

Bathing, I don’t come up until I don’t hear her anymore.
I hold my breath until I can remember the first cries
of the daughter I imagine having,
the wife I want to carry with me on my finger,
the child I want to watch movies with on my mother’s couch.
When bathing I don’t come up until I don’t hear.
When bathing I don’t come up.
When bathing the ruin never washes out.

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