Every Time I Try To Sleep, I See Myself Float In The Dark


dancing in the dark is a skill mastered / after prolonged sessions of blindness / or living in an unlit house for decades / floating in the dark is an act my mind / appears to have made a nightly

avocation / every time i try to sleep / i enter a Stephen King’s novel / & become a character with telekinesis / i float in the dark like courageous balloons / released into the sky / below me / i see

a world on fire / i hear unceasing screams / but i do not see a soul or mouth hole in the globe / i make failed attempts at awakening / & instead fall upwards into more darkness / i keep falling /

until i wake up on the floor / by my bed / my pounding heart echoes in my ear / & my skin leaks / & the same thing happens every night—i float.



I Slept Off Listening To Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted & Had The Craziest Dream


i am in a room with walls that whisper my name       like the wind / slowly & relentlessly

there is no light bulb or window        but the darkness is acquainted with my eyes

& i know it like my middle finger      i hear something tap dance in the cellar

maybe rats or a cat / i do not quiver                i open the door / & see a flow of unlit passageway

i bathe in it as i move / my skin crawls at its touch

a white door peeks at me from down the passageway

& i swim through the nothingness / till my right hand kisses its knob


i’m in a vast empty white space

like the blank space between words / except bigger          i yell & yell / scream & scream

but i only hear a crazed cackling   the smell of a paperback / strikes my nose

& i see a book camped before my feet: the book of nobodies no one would miss

a strange wind flips the pages / & stops suddenly at twenty one

my eyes stamp something sketched on the page / a name—     my name

a force pulls me under / & i drown in the white space / i yell & yell / scream & scream

but i only hear a continued muteness.     i wake up / i’m on the floor

Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted stirs in my head



A Scalding Desire


staring at your Instagram page, a thought takes shelter in

my mind. it carries a scalding desire, the volume of a furnace.


my mind is trapped in a tower of disquietude / pining,

my tongue / hands long to weave rapture from meandering

your flexuous body


in my mindscape, masturbation isn’t the story

my hands compose. the word ‘lust’ subsists like oxygen, we


breathe it in


i’m not in the multitude of darkness, fanning the flames in my heart

under a moon’s slice with the same skin i wear. we’re just

two people

reposing at the edge of earth

watching the planets twirl


if you must splay your beauty in the galaxy of binary codes

at least tender my heart compassion / sympathy by not awaiting


before you text back.


Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer, (performance) poet, and an undergrad at the University of Benin. His zodiac sign is Virgo and he’s mostly fascinated by anything atypical and/or containing speculative elements. His work appears or are forthcoming in Afritondo, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, EroGospel, Feral, Green Black Tales, Kalahari Review, Ngiga Review, Perhappened Mag, Praxis Magazine, Serotonin, and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the African Writers Award 2019, shortlisted in the 2019 Kreative Diadem Writing Contest, and recently longlisted for Babishai 2020 Haiku Award. You can find him on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise Visit Praise’s website at www.wordsmithpraise.com