The Ark in Your Head

1. Bible Stories

take two of every creature
a fleet of bearded sons

selected mulatto women
construct an ocean from

black flowers & the
memory of Galilee

fashion effigies from salted
meat, sticks & kelp

store them below deck
the shadow language

of birds, the precious
reptilian sun.

2. A Beautiful Feeling

the best thing
about true sailing:

punctured green water
worn as a cloak

the phosphorescent armour
of fishes & empty mouth

of the world; the submerged
ziggurat of funereal corals

rising; the silent dance
of half-eaten hulks

broken wooden crustaceans &
the pale, yellow fable

of outstretched fingers
clutching the lunar blanket

of sand, stroking the chill architecture
of counterfeit landings.

3. The Beast

the muttered legend
of brokenhead islands

bleak red sticks poking
from the rutilant crowns

of angels; the sallow
eyes of pig-children

haunting freshwater
ponds, all manners

the resulting suicidal bow &
nilotic croak of dun lips;

the lifeless gopher wood
instrument of enclosure; the grueling

religion of desert folk, counting
hepatic suns on seagirt digits.



taken by sevens
every clean beast

lives the death of
dry land –

the nightmare
of empty horses

stored in barrels &
marked clearly as ‘jetsam’;

the cruel wreckage
of flamingoes & rotten

aquatic birds, bills open
in silent doxology

a mosaic of vermilion plumage &
fountains & universal law

three hundred cubits long,
fifty cubits high, thirty cubits wide.

5. End of all Flesh

in the evenings
nobody speaks of land

food is taken in
slow, dead handfuls

while below deck, soft clay
spills from the eyes

of murdered ponies,
the wormy godflesh

of the effigies is kissed
as the sweet communion

of apples & plague gods
retreats into the shell of

each pink throat,
a sugary nakedness

trembling at the thought
of graveyards & plazas &

dawn’s sharp ruin.