Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five



We forget the prophesies
that never manifested like they never
happened. Like the end
of the world. Like the miscarried
sister. Like the body boiling
by its own heat—like elevated
heartbeat from forced
orgasm. How limiting to say
the sky is the limit. I puke
and it’s all pus and aurora.
Inhale and a god is trapped
in my lungs beside the blood
and weed-smoke. I know
how the world wants this skin
bloody and sick, wants me
to forget like identity crisis.
We made it this far, ain’t
we? We made a home
from refuse and refusal. From
twigs and nutshells and everything
brown and nearly broken. I used to
wonder if I were sane. As if
thought could be standardized, sanitized
until sterilized white and raw.
I can’t stop thinking
about consistency. About currency.
About currents. I listed my curses
and sent them to God—they arrived
in my own mailbox. Return to sender
or arrival at destination? I too
have built worlds and destroyed
them like a Lego castle.
I admit some day I may
need to be admitted. I admit
death but not defeat. The thing
about scarring is it weakens
sensitivity. But still I sweat
and wince at the sun. But damn
I’m beautiful out today.

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit and studied poetry in University of Michigan's MFA program. His writings have been given homes by The Collagist, Four Way Review, The Journal, and Bennington Review, among others. He is an editor for HEArt Online and you can find him on Twitter @Marlin_Poet.