Numbness Speaks to the Body in First Person by Olatunde Osinaike

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


(mashup and erasure of Miranda’s Rights & last words left on a voicemail from Sandra Bland)

Hey this is me. I’m [um]
the right to remain silent,
anything you say,
I just was able to see the judge
can and will be used
against you in

•••

I don't really knowa court of law
They have me at a $5,000 bond
I'm still just at a loss for words honestly
You have the right to an attorney
at this whole process
If you cannot afford an attorney,
one will be provided for you.

•••

Do you understand the rights
How did switching lanes with no signal
I have just read to you?
turn into all of this,
I don't even know
with these rights in mind
do you wish to speak to me
[um] But I’m still here, so I guess call
me back when you can.

 Photo of Olatunde Osinaike   Olatunde Osinaike  is a Nigerian-American poet originally from the West Side of Chicago. An alumnus of Vanderbilt University, he is Black, still learning and eager nevertheless. His most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in  Apogee Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Black Napkin Press, Split Lip Magazine, FreezeRay Poetry,  and  Heavy Feather Review,  among other publications.

Photo of Olatunde Osinaike

Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet originally from the West Side of Chicago. An alumnus of Vanderbilt University, he is Black, still learning and eager nevertheless. His most recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Apogee Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Black Napkin Press, Split Lip Magazine, FreezeRay Poetry, and Heavy Feather Review, among other publications.