Time Capsule
By Deonte Osayande

I. Icarus Speaks of Angels

They will say how I fell into the ocean, but I was never afraid
of the sea. I had visions of many things
in the water. I saw generations
of young boys like me with ancestral

feathers tarred onto their bones. Many of them
trying to shine. Many of them
dying before their time. Their fathers are much
like mine, imprisoned, trapped

in mazes of iron bars. The ocean appears
to be a time capsule,
all these centuries

II. How Many of Us Must Fall

before enough is enough? How many
times do youth have their names forgotten

unless they become obituaries? Please
don’t let me name the children

unless you want them to hate us before
they become teenagers. I can’t promise I’ll come up with

something that won’t cause difficulty in getting job
interviews, how employers won’t want to try

pronouncing their names right, how nicknames will become
identity assimilation, as if it wasn’t hard enough.

III. Things You Missed, For Mike

Move in day. Meeting your first
roommate. Meeting what would have been

your future wife. Meeting
your future.

Football players treating their families
worse than balls of pork skin. The fall of Cliff

Huxtable. Epidemics that weren’t
until they crossed the Atlantic. Every beheading

that wasn’t important until it happened
to someone that crossed the Atlantic. The World

Series. Protests from Palestine to China. The domestic army in your backyard. Another you
in cosplay. Another you buying a BB gun. Two more

of you in Missouri. The lack of arrest. The abundance of unrest. The state
of emergency. Your parents on the hip hop awards. Your parents

speaking to the United Nations. The way
their sadness was colder than the snow.

Deonte Osayande is writer from Detroit. His poems have been published in more than a dozen publications and have won awards in the Dudley Randall Poetry Contest, the Wayne Literary Review Poetry Contest and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a two-time member of the Detroit National Poetry Slam Team. He’s a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal and Scissors and Spackle. He also teaches creative writing through the Inside Out Detroit program and is a Professor of English at Wayne County Community College. He wishes he owned a cat or a dog. Goldfish suck.