Swan Point VII. / Noah by Kirstin Allio

The shore rocks
like a boat,
a batch of grass
submerged, gulping—
this gulch
green planet makes me seasick.
Humans are last
in nature,
nature the record.
Humans last
in nature, old
leaves degenerate,
although it wouldn’t surprise
me to see a corpse
like a handle
of driftwood.
A long earwig
swims for its life,
but the whole story
of being favored
falls apart when you consider
God’s risk profile.
Noah in his cabin after dark,
marking up the ledger:
Yangtze Finless
Porpoise, Cross River
the deal
you’ve been
waiting for, flip
flops for a dollar, which
makes the past seem first
and foremost like a missed
opportunity, and cigarettes
like a whole food.
Every era has its Noah,
its chastity boat,
staid pairs.
The story slides
across the surface
of a playing card,
a tarot that tells
a future emaciated
by homesick polar bears.
One man’s ark
is a polar bear’s sea
ice, and the only
way to deal with it now
is to conscript the shaman
in shambles, yellow
coat stretched
between poles,
to the climate-controlled
land- locked
dung tang
soft serve
caged bird
Roger Williams
Park and Zoo.
Kirstin Allio is the author of the novels Garner (Coffee House Press) and Buddhism for Western Children (University of Iowa Press), and the short story collection Clothed, Female Figure (Dzanc). Poems are most recently out or forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Bat City Review, Bennington Review, Fence, Guesthouse, Poetry Northwest, North American Review, and Subtropics; she’s closing in on a collection. She lives in Providence, RI. www.kirstinallio.com