November Nights – Deonte Osayande

You don’t know love until you’ve had
your lover hunched over, drunk
throwing up all over your bed sheets,
blanket, comforter, sweatpants, hoodie,

and whatever else she can find. It’s orange vomit
all over your things and you’re busy trying to figure
out if that’s a pineapple chunk or orange slice? Anyway,

you don’t think about how disgusting it is, or how your
whole room will smell like barf for the next week, all
you’re thinking about is how you have to hold back
her hair as she pukes her lungs out because you love her

and she loves her weave and you can’t let anything
happen to it, and besides, she does look good in it. I mean
if you can’t love someone at their sloppy drunken pants off,
dance off, one second and throwing up while crying,

and peeing the next worse then you shouldn’t love them
at their best. Honestly, you have to love her through
the smelly farts and snotty noses and she gets to love you

through sickness and in health, whether it’s a electrical
charger through your foot or just a cold. It’s a two way street,
and it isn’t easy. Love each other equally and totally, through
everything and back. A time will come when you will need

her and she will be there. Cussing you out for being so ill
or injured, but there nevertheless. Caring for you as you did

for her in her time of need. So, go ahead, scoop up her puke. Shit,
if you need to put it in a zip locked bag and roll around in it. I don’t
know why you would need to do that, but I do know the sense connected
to memory the most is smell and you don’t wanna ever forget the smell

of that mess. Show her the humor in it, that you two have been through
worse and made it out the other side. Embrace her, because you two have
loved each other truly through it all. What’s one drunken night to a lifetime?

dosayandeDeonte 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.