Strange Witchcraft

during late nights, speaking
to my cat, swearing he
understands me, when
she was alive, my great
grandmother called my
father a good for nothing
nigga, not knowing what
he would suffer through
after the stroke, or maybe
she did, able to see that
far into the future, linear
time escapes me now
and I think of her last
moments, how she resigned
and almost accepted her fate,
how that might be my future
and I tell my cat all of this

and he just meows, before
looking out the window,
gazing into some far away
land that I cannot see, and

essentially what I’m asking
is about how it’s a strange
kind of witchcraft when our

family lives on in the animals
we leave behind on this earth.

Deonte Osayande is a writer from Detroit, MI. His non-fiction and poetry have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, and the Pushcart Prize. He has represented Detroit at four National Poetry Slam competitions. He’s currently a professor of English at Wayne County Community College. His books include Class (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2017) and Circus (Brick Mantle Books, 2018). He also managed the Rustbelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam and Festival for 2014 and 2018.

Photography by Jury S. Judge