The Heart of Darkness

by Jeanelle Fu

We are the most famous city on the earth
The City of Blood, never without victims
Who has not felt, our endless cruelty?
Overwhelming, neverending, reckless
The corpses of nations wash away on our shores
The cries of the weak punctuate our city walls
Sons and daughters, mothers and fathers
We heed no mercy, and fear no god

But one day, a man entered our city, carrying no sword, but a message:

Forty more days, and Nineveh will be overturned.”

There was something about this man,
something about the way he stood before us,
as if the sea itself had coughed him up
The way he spoke those words, as if it were not his intent at all,
that drove itself like a dagger into the heart of the king
My people, rip your garments, touch no food or drink, for we are a nation deserving of death

And we began to feel our breaths as a nation sharp against our chest
For the first time, seeing, feeling
Blood running down our hands,
guilty, before a holy God

I fell to my knees in the midst of thousands
God of the Hebrews, forgive me, I will follow you

And love like I had never known, for all I had known was war
Embraced me
Overwhelming, neverending, reckless
I shook and wept into my sackcloth,
As the skies broke with a new grace upon our land, thirsty for righteousness,
Hungry for truth
I never got to speak to him, this odd man who appeared, like a sudden mist before us
But I already feel like a brother to him
For had he never stepped foot upon our desolate shores
No one would have found their way to us, the heart of darkness

“You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:10-11

Jeanelle Fu is a Taiwanese-American poet, artist and creative storyteller. During her free time, she enjoys dance choreography, hiking, and making stuff with friends. She has collaborated with LA-based media company Mighty, producing videos that have been shared by The National Review, The Gospel Coalition, and translated into multiple languages. She is currently working on publishing her first chapbook of poetry, inspired by themes of grief and how it intersects with the God who wept. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Read more at

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