Noah’s Ark – Betsy Mars

After Charles Reznikoff and the Chagall painting, L’Arche de Noé
Where are the dead of the flood
who missed the ship
who lost their grip
who were not picked
to go below the rainbow’s arc?

Where are the dead of the flood
the ones who swam, the ones who float
in indigo waters beyond their depth,
beneath our vision, begrudged their breath –

their souls unbodied,
mortal bonds broken –
where are the dead of the flood?
Their bones become reef,

their grief unsanctified –
where are the dead of the flood?
Where are the goats and the hens
who sank, blown down on the whim of God?

No burial for them in a fine linen shroud
or in a matting of reeds.
Below God’s butcher block
a sea dyed red  –
there are the dead of the flood.

B MarsBetsy Mars is a Connecticut-born, LA-based poet and educator with degrees from USC which she puts to no obvious use. Her work has recently appeared in The Rise Up Review, Writing in A Woman’s Voice, and The Ekphrastic Review, as well as in a number of anthologies, and the California Quarterly. Her first chapbook, Alinea, was recently released by Picture Show Press.