Cathexis Northwest Press
Waffle House; Gave You Power, Sacramento
By: Osamase Ekhator Waffle House
They choked me,
but a week earlier,
on a grizzly hush
of Tennessee’s skies,
I didn’t finish my grits;
New Orleans roasted drifters
sneaking, faintly, into nostrils. Syrup dripped
from the lips of a maple tree. He entered her life,
green and nude,
my heart, like hers, frozen. I,
an embryo escaping the numb belly,
crawled to a place familiar for a bladder
and left her.
I heard her scream,
along with the others who had passed.
From below, I saw the way she stared
at him, in awe
and disappointment. In me
rage, lunging at him. He had gotten her attention,
and it burned.
I beat his ass, took it from him; her
Gave You Power, Sacramento
I shouldn’t have been there.
My cousin should’ve.
in my dresser, when It took over
again. I once loved It,
for scratching my serial number
of skin. But
didn’t know where we were going,
no use in asking anymore.
only light from a flash.
Our homie said he saw a cat
climb a fence.
A backyard, searched.
Silence stood on ten minutes.
Nearly falling asleep.
in seventeen seconds.
It grabbed me. I didn’t want It
to. It startled me, shoving vocals
out of my cold black lips.
We took his IPhone
and It reloaded
Osamase Ekhator is a Boston College graduate and a life time poet. He recently released his first chapbook, "Situationship" and you can get a copy of the book at osamasetorbest.com. Follow Osamase on Instagram, @osamasetorbest.
"Waffle House" - The poem is inspired by James Shaw Jr.; the hero who stopped an active gunman in a Tenseness Waffle House restaurant.
"Gave You Power, Sacramento" - The poem is inspired by the killing of an unarmed, Sacramento native named Stephon Clark, in 2018; additional inspiration comes from "Gave You Power" by Nas; a song narrated from the perspective of a gun.