Those Five Minutes

and I did the hentail tale to tale
without scraping the candle’s blood away
from my tongue imagining the glass would fill
me and you and her with rose-sand
without shortening rain-lengths, and the fire-span
of travelling from book to cities to riverbeds
without breaking a water-hide nor leaving pillows
made by the girl with stars braided on her
shell; but it was within those five minutes
of seven lamplights pulsing in the edge of the sound
closest to my breath when beside me
fell the desert fruit whose skin was that girl’s
sin as like god commanding you not to
pick october dates out of your diary
old enough to be new with cocktails and a mooncover
to fit into every picture that would be taken
during the tour over piano plays, lip loves, hip jokes
troubling as the happiness of eating Shammah
over the winter dreams of F. Scott Fitzgerald or say
same as tasting the garden eggs of Olaf Ruhen
that leaned in Fatima’s t-highs story
a story without a period within
the pattern of a butterfly waiting
in the yellow lights waiting …


June 12

I followed the sand to the other end of the road
wide as white paper to carry soulprints and reflect the fading
blue of childhood, i followed jumping every girl frogs doing creativity
I followed only to see a moonstone
changing her foreskin into a steel magnet;
all our faces had one smile undone by Picasso
like tight old amoebic jeans and sea
that you forget which air you’re breathing
but remember that date of your last fart



in the end broadway dews stained my boots
I couldn’t return a smile like ‘biscus does
to celebrate the bronze cloud, I couldn’t
though sunflowers snails, oviawe spirits re-invited me
I couldn’t, i only bought long hairs to bridge between
my eyes and her shadow hitting on mine


Groping for Keys

Nancy and I room at a rose cave
roofed with silk silvers and memories
—thousand tides tick tying to our waists tight thorny threads
soots sneeze eyes spout blood prayers escape oracles
frills at the door loose, swing windows gift the night a dream stalactites and ‘agmites bow to steams—
tracing rest we sniff attars and run errands on ice bowls


David Ishaya Osu

David Ishaya Osu

David Ishaya Osu is a board member of the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation based in Uganda. His poetry appears in publications including: Chiron Review, CutBank, Vinyl, Transition, The Nottingham Review, Maintenant 10: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing & Art. He is currently poetry editor at Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, and he is at work on his debut poetry book.