A Poem

By Jeremy T. Karn

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; Emmanuel, & the 100,000 refugees”……...

…. & our country wanted a change of name. Some of the years on the calendar were counted on my mother’s fingers.

Few of the men that went – returned home to die properly after trying.

In Monrovia we discussed people’s death before they die.

After all we believe in death / death / migration / & nothing else


The sea rolls & foams out / of Coca-Cola bottles whenever someone dies.

Ten years ago;

My father is standing somewhere in Accra near a call booth;

pretending to stare at the traffic walking toward his feet.

The wind stones our glass window the other day,

a necktie hangs loosely on a chair arm waiting to choke someone.

A phone call from the Post Office plays a mourning song in the background.

Too many women along with my mother adjusted their bodies for their husbands’ deaths news.