Build an Ark
by Jeremy Voigt
It isn’t safe with you behind the wheel
gripping the column as if you might float
free of this place, water spraying
off of each bumper, hull-split,
and landing in the continuous pooling
of more of itself. I am safe
reading at home as neighbors check mailboxes
in a rowboat, as the atmosphere moistens
and drains itself. In the valley,
a farmer in the second story of his house,
alone, watches the brown flood continue,
then loads his rifle to maximum capacity
and begins shooting his cows
because he cannot bear
their screeching as they drown.
“Build an ark,” the reader-board says,
but, of course, it is too late,
and I’m left with whatever making
I was engaged with before the rain.
What is put down needs another’s eyes
for life—my whole being in a drop
of white water. The dove has left
the ship, and flapping with calm
fury flies directly into the January sun.
Jeremy Voigt lives in Bellingham with his wife and three kids, teaches in Skagit Valley and at Whatcom Community College, and has published poems in PostRoad, Talking River, and Willow Springs among other places.