Jordan Anthony Elijah Barnes: Man-Made Rivers
Joshua Newton

Joshua Newton



my knuckles deserve their scars
glass shards, broken skin
too many times

half my bones creak in agony
begging me to stay

the other half
screams for entropy
screams for hollow chaos,
destruction -

we reek of youthful exuberance
paused adolescence
resumed with aplomb

i'm starting to agree
there is such a thing as
too late

too late for genius resurrections,
ill-timed revelations under the haunting glow of the moon
stars glistening with disdain

lips golden under the light of her eyes

too late for dreams of her womb,
the heavenly nest buried deep in her soul
harboring life
my sun

i write poems about her in blood
blood isn't always pretty
but blood
is blood

red, metallic, mercurial
siphoned from my soul

stinking of sulfur
and maybe murr

I always thought my bones were made of brimstone
forged in the river styx
smoky with a potpourri of sin

is that how my love tasted to her?

asking "who left you?"
is telling me to vomit blood on your doorstep:
i'll do it, but
what's the price for my willingness?

the windows, shattered
floor boards torn into scrap
destruction is edification only if you believe
that you could be worth despair

that happiness is an ultimate gift,
glowing in a tiny cupboard hidden within the labyrinth of Momma's lessons;

the streaks on your wrists are a map to Nirvana:
cold reminders, tree-rings, criss crossing your veins
like man-made rivers

Jordan Anthony Elijah Barnes is based out of Quincy, MA. He makes a habit of writing, rapping, singing, and telling jokes. His favorite color is Black and the only thing he loves more than experiencing dope things is making them happen himself. You can follow him on Twitter @yungsamson_