Deonte Osayande

The Liquid Dragon Speaks of Ares


I’ve watched my dad disintegrate,

a wicked legend

acting like a stranger

in the house he built. There is no easy way

to tell a man they treat beer

bottles like shining suns

and their sons like bottles

easily recycled. Honestly I love him

but he is the reason

I learned how to hold a broken women

long before I learned how to kiss one. I know

how this legend is supposed to end,

with a confrontation

and then replacement. His demons

make him drink

while mine steal away my sleep. The fire

stays in his chest, but I am quick

to spew out glacial lava. My tongue

can make men burn, and freeze

at the same time. I’m not biting at the hand that fed me

I’m trying to let it know I can feed myself. I don’t have time

to fight my father or his demons,

because if we were in the wrong location

there would be a witch hunt for us both.

Deonte Osayande is a former track and field sprinter turned writer from Detroit, Mi. He writes nonfiction essays and his poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, a Pushcart Prize and published in numerous publications. He has represented Detroit at multiple National Poetry Slam competitions. He’s currently a professor of English at Wayne County Community College, and teaching youth through the Inside Out Detroit Literary Arts Program. His first full collection of poems entitled Class, is going to be out with Urban Farmhouse Press in 2017.