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Jeremy T. Karn: The Gospel According to Matthew Eric

I want to remember things i can’t remember
I want to remember my body parts & the names given to them…

The Gospel According to Matthew Eric

…& Eric begat death / the night became a history in my phone browser.

on TV, the sermon on mount Zion became a song
         the night kept us company on the living room’s floor.

communion was served at the dinner table & because
         my uncle’s body was the bread, it got burnt on the stove.

our bodies carried the shape of the darkness behind a veil
         & because picture frame is partially alive, / Eric learned the names of the living;

plucked blood out of them/ plucked blood out of them
         until they became meaningless on his lips.

after church / the pastor says Eric gives his body as a living sacrifice
         our views about death began a stone in the sea’s mouth.

two songs became a tale / one memorized our bodies’ gestures
         a boy’s body took the size of a grave / a small house down the street became a cemetery.

2018, I left a few of the nights on the table / in a plate
         I traced my dead uncle’s footsteps from the door mat.

I held the night by its church outfit / & copied how the sun sleeps at night
         I threw my body into prayers / & mourning became a new language on our tongues.

2019, the kitchen sink is filled with sliced voices
My father this evening read his brother’s obituary twice in newspapers
         & said blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted


Paper Boat

         Another decade ended five minutes ago
a calendar took forty days to complete a month

today the sea will bleach from red to green & you’ll call it green sea
my body will be given a name like water / wine / & lipstick

         I moved through an era of men that the tongue can’t be named
a sin like this makes Jesus weep
         the night scared the kitchen door to swing back into the wind
         The faucet begins rust into old age
         my father hired the world to watch my body grow from the soil

a boy drowns into tears like paper boat
         the sea kept its promise by returning to the shore every afternoon

I want to remember things i can’t remember
I want to remember my body parts & the names given to them
My body was named after fear / failure / & flower
Some say it was named after my mother’s body
Some days the mirror rebelled against my body


Poetry © Jeremy T. Karn
Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Jeremy T. Karn
Jeremy T. Karn
Jeremy T. Karn is a 23years old poet and storyteller from Monrovia, Liberia. He is an undergraduate student studying Sociology. His poems have been published by Praxis Magazine, African Writer Magazine, Odd Magazine, Kalahari Review, Arthut and other places. He can be reached through his email


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