Poetry: “As I Play a Drinking Game for the Final Debate, Cheering for Empathy” by Olatunde Osinaike

the rules: take a shot   any time either candidate interrupts   the other   take a shot any time the Donald brings up the wall or yours    take a shot every time Trump points to the polls to break them down    again  takes shot take a shot every time Hillary anxiously chuckles the debate back into one of cocoons and manila folders and takes shot take another shot every time Clinton is a nasty woman at a table she helped set    vet her emails next with the silverware if she takes shot   deviates the tilt of her smile take a shot every time Trump sneers as he takes shot should, besides these policies never affected takes shot his locker room talk taking shots at those    still   working out his locker room talk takes shot take a shot   any time either candidate pirouettes from their platform, so supreme, so swear in this nightmare    takes shot     take a shot every time you slow into a dormant so takes shot another brick gets added to your wall or you squirm in your seat take a shot if your seat scoffs at the two party race as race is reduced to a middle class or a nimble quiver takes shot take a shot   if the rules didn’t seem like rules  flagged more as a harvest   any time the taboo prompts you   to lock the door to that condo in your throat  take a shot takes shot every time another takes shot brick gets added to your takes shot wall takes shot   take    shot

***

Olatunde Osinaike is an Nigerian-American poet and software developer originally from the West Side of Chicago. He obtained his B.S. at Vanderbilt University and is based in Nashville. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Yes, Poetry, Dulcet Quarterly, WusGood Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently working on publishing his first chapbook. “There is the alertness in providing a space for hope, just as there is urgency of being acutely aware of the space in which we exist now. I am looking to point out the ever-present dynamism of the journey that is seen by some as substandard and empower an ownership of proactive forms of reflection rather than to just stir and welcome in reaction to the current emptiness and angst that we as historically marginalized groups do feel so firmly.”

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