Raych Jackson – “Jonah Was Trapped Before He Met the Fish”


Jonah was Trapped Before he Met the Fish. Who knew, after the first raindrop,
the storm was Jonah’s fault? I would have. Guilt has a smell that lingers worse than the meat
fishermen sift through daily. Anyone with a long shadow
dragging through the ground won’t be welcomed aboard, especially someone
whose only visible luggage is the slump in their shoulders. I’d recognize that dip anywhere. The storm bubbled over, and Jonah dripped to the bottom
of the boat, silent and low, praying everything above him
would just settle. I time how long
I can hold my breath underwater for 13 straight days. Every evening I took
an extra-large bottle of wine, filled the bathtub and locked the door. Maybe tonight will be
the night they find me. Jonah hid like an untrained dog who wet the rug
when his owner came home too late. My roommate comes home early, knocks to ask if I’m okay. I let my words leak under the door, and they form a puddle of false relief. Was the crew ready
to throw Jonah overboard after the first tear? Or did he have to prove
how ready he was to die? Is killing myself a sin
if I really want to die? Jonah, a man dull enough
to think God can’t see him at all times. He sees when I dip my head back
and let the water reach my ears and keep going, keep sinking. A prophet disappearing
gets God’s attention. A depressed 20-something does not. God would never follow me
across the ocean or my bathroom to change my mind. I’m aware I will never be loved as much. He only comes to sit
on the edge of the tub to hold the timer. My Lord, see how long
I can hold my breath? Once I broke my record, opened my eyes under the sea, felt my feet push back
and watched me float up on my own, my nose and mouth forced above the surface
to remember what air was. God held Jonah underwater
until he was his prophet again. God saves my life
while keeping his hands dry. I accomplish nothing.
My body doesn’t let me. My God doesn’t let me. God might let me drown one day
if I practice hiding better– a bigger tub and whiskey this time, an empty house and a nap below. Is it even my body
if I’m made in his image? Is it even a bath if God wants a baptism? (applause) This is the last one.
Thanks, guys! I was really nervous.

22 thoughts on “Raych Jackson – “Jonah Was Trapped Before He Met the Fish”

  1. Nice poetry. It's words like this that encourage me to keep on doing poetry on my channel, knowing I can only get better

  2. The title made me click faster.
    And I knew it was something powerful. I guess, I was right.

  3. "Is it even my body if I'm made in His image?
    Is it even a bath if He wanted a baptism?"

  4. Its good poem but 😔. You're worth more than Jonah because of your statement

  5. Can y'all check out my "friends" poem and let me know what you think?

  6. Anyone can write a story, or place a statement, but, despite your best efforts to create poetry, only those who can somehow paint a picture in your mind and something that will stick with you, is hard to find.

    This is poetry because it stuck with me.

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