Back to Issue Forty-Three

monrovia 2002, & checkpoints



you had no idea where the road ends but you walked.
maybe in the end you saw where the sky bows to equal
the earth’s roundness

you wanted to tell your mother that you are tired
of the war. the bodies you kept tumbling into
that tried to fit in the ground.
some bodies were emptied of eyes, you said.

it sang beneath your tongue, the thing in you that wanted to tell
your mother of how bullet shells outnumbered
the grains of sand on the ground.

but how do you tell the rebels at every checkpoint that
you are too young for the war?
all of them have the same small eyes as you.


Jeremy Teddy Karn is a Liberian poet and the author of Miryam Magdalit, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New Generation African Poet (APBF), 2021. His poems have appeared and are forthcoming in Olney Magazine, The Penn Review, Native Skin Magazine, Red Ogre Review, Whale Road, IceFloe Press, Lolwe, FERAL Poetry, Cheat River Review, The Kissing Dynamite, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Olongo Africa, trampset, Auto Focus Lit, and elsewhere. He tweets @jeremy_karn96.

Next (Megan Kim) >

< Previous (Angelo Mao)