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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis 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. 

Dogs barking,

only light from a flash. 

Air tepid. 

Our homie said he saw a cat

climb a fence. 

A backyard, searched. 

Silence stood on ten minutes. 

Nearly falling asleep.

Then confrontation,

in seventeen seconds.

It grabbed me. I didn’t want It

to. It startled me, shoving vocals

out of my cold black lips. 

I screamed 

(twenty times).

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 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.


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