Sex, Kink, and the Erotic: “off 19th street” by Praise Osawaru

off 19th street

you come over when an orange glow encroaches upon a section of the morning sky
telling the night it is unwelcome & so you embrace the day with avidity.
my new apartment is a republic of dirt, dust & cobwebs; a displeasing present
but you tenderly offer a hand, then lunge & yank the broom from me, leaving me
incapable of denying your offering. time promises an unending stream 
of seconds, like a waterfall, & all we do is paddle & part our lives into slices for one another. 
everywhere is spotless & organized when without warning, the window reveals gray clouds.
the roof chants and I decipher a downpour. the rain is heavy & unwilling to cease. 
I propose you stay the night. it begins with a bump & an apology, prolonged gazing,
soon we’re undressed in bed, our skins somehow managing to sweat, when 
the atmosphere hosts a numbing chill. you rebound off me nonstop, I wheeze
in sheer delight—a ritual of warm bodies. lightning stretches, blinking white
into my darkened room, a rumbling scares my lamp away from the nightstand 
& it shatters upon impact with the tiled floor. for a moment, my attention 
is filched, like the way the night swipes the sky from the day. 
you palm my face & say: don’t worry, I’ll clean it up later. 
& your breasts holds my gaze as a drop trickles down your sternum. 

About Praise Osawaru

Praise Osawaru (he/him) is a writer of Bini descent. A Best of the Net nominee, his work appears or is forthcoming in FIYAH, Frontier Poetry, Down River Road, The Maine Review, The Lit Quarterly, and Roadrunner Review, among others. An NF2W Poetry scholar, he’s the second-place winner of the Nigerian NewsDirect Poetry Prize 2020 and a finalist for the 2021 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize & the 2020 Awele Creative Trust Award. He’s a Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine and a reader for Chestnut Review. Find him on Instagram & Twitter: @wordsmithpraise.