When They Find the Ark by Paige Lewis
Fox News buys exclusive broadcasting rights.
My mother is sobbing, pressing her nails into
my palm, she asks Is this live, is this live? When
they break their way into the ship, I swear I
can smell a mixture of sweet dates and lupine.
The men don’t need light. The ark is bright-
pulsing. Its floors—hay-dappled, wet-warped,
buckling. Its stables are wide and filled with
women. Women whipping around on all fours,
their heads pulled back, their mouths a frothed
blur. Women sleeping straight-backed against
wood beams, women speaking in trilling chirps.
My mother, even-breathing, says This can’t be
the ark. Where are the bones? The men? The men
find one woman alone in her stable, curled
beside an overturned bowl. The men lift her
up, they lift it up. The bowl gushes dust and
dust, the women stop moving, the ark starts
filling, and the men want to save it—no one
wants to witness it dust-drowned. They throw
the bowl out of the ark just before the TV goes
black. Outside, Lake Michigan is slopping up
a thickening gray paste. Outside, the stones
are coated. Inside, my mother sits replaying
the moments before the cameras stopped.
As the clouds press against our roof, she asks
Don’t you think the ones running look a little like me?
Paige Lewis is an assistant poetry editor at Narrative Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, The Greensboro Review, Ninth Letter, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere.