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2 POEMS By Jeremy T. Karn

Lamentation for a Burnt Boy

i was there, 

when your body was rolled up into blue smokes 

i begged you not to die….

mother said your smoke trail was a map to heaven 

i have inherited a grief 

i am tired to carry around in my veins 

some days you’re gone, 

some days you’re moving 

in the blackness of nights that hold my eyes

i want to jump out of these nightmares

without thinking about how 

you tried to jump out of the fire

Mute Boy

                ‘’Poetry is the broken words of a stutterer’s essay’’

Dami Ajayi

i think i am more / blessed than Christ…amen

i am now everything

i promised myself not to be    

while some words / in my throat yearn to break into songs, 

they’ve also tortured me into a mute boy

i sometimes / end prayers halfway,

         when words fail to / form on my tongue

maybe God can struggle / to get words out of his / throat like me

all my life / i have been learning

how to teach my

throat to stay unclogged / like my mother’s kitchen sink,

how to say the word / beautiful / 

without pausing, 

& pulling my veins out of my thighs

but my mother says / being  a stutterer means,

              i am more blessed than Christ


Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. He was born between 1997 and 1995 but not in 1996. He writes from his room he barely leaves. His work had appeared and forthcoming in The Whale Road, The Rising Phoenix, Kalahari Review, Praxis Online Magazine, African Writer and others.