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.

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