i am so depressed i feel like jumping in the river behind my house but i won’t because i am twenty four and not eighteen by Jeremy T. Karn

after Sandra Cisneros


in a nutshell, 

i have returned to you like
                              the way death returns when one gets depressed.

grief has unlit everything in me back & forth,
                              but i am jealous of the veins
that form smiles on my face.

Yeshua is jealous of me,
                              i can do what he can’t do of me. 

hallowed be my name, 
                              i can teach my depressed body how to stay alive. 

blessed are the depressed: for they should inherit 
                              the kingdom of heaven like those that are not depressed.

i have buried myself in a body 
                              to hide a smoke rising out of my skin: 
my bones are on fire,  i am stubborn,
                              i have refused to be dragged into a hole.

i have trouble with dying from depression because. 
i will raise myself out of death. 

Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His works appeared & forthcoming in the 20.35: Contemporary African Poets Anthology,  Hoxie Gorge Review, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, Whale Road, IceFloe Press, Lolwe, FERAL Poetry, Kissing Dynamite, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Olongo Africa, Liminal Transit Review, Auto Focus Lit, Stone Poetry journal, Afro Literary Magazine,  Eremite Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the 2020 winner of the ARTmosterrific editor choice award. His chapbook, Miryam Magdalit,  was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, (The African Poetry Book Fund), in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set. He tweets @jeremy_karn96

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.