black boy calls shotgun

without permission or probation. if you can judge the pedigree
of a windy day in April you may just get this.

the same boy endless and radiant and doing
exactly what a title as smooth as shea butter would suggest.

sprinting across what little grass the west side has
to brandish the opening of the passenger-side door like any velvet would.

both undead chivalry and coefficient of liberty. without a shadow of doubt,
the sky was made to play the auxiliary role of paparazzi and what a luxury

we have from this angle. spectators to baptisms. if it weren’t so obvious,
we would only have ourselves to thank, impressed by our own attendance.

i’m unaware of where this custom began, the one without canary-colored caution
tape, perhaps it was a window ledge or a fire escape, dark as a cloud

of exhaust, it could have just as well been as mute as a subpoena,
making quick work of the questions. in fact, i don’t have any.

for all i know i have no use for the ls in collateral, for all i know
this is why you should support black business–

because there is a kid down the street arrogant as a swift prayer
thinking their chores to be done, basking in the glint of permanence.

if the cops were to come tomorrow could you blame them? All of us children,
daring and brilliant with the certain kind of charm every baton envies.


Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet originally from the West Side of Chicago. He is Black, still learning and eager nevertheless. An alumnus of Vanderbilt University, his most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Apogee, HEArt Online, Hobart, Glass, Anomaly Literary Journal, Puerto del Sol, and Columbia Poetry Review, among other publications. He is currently on the poetry staff of The Adroit Journal and can be found online at