American Ark

by Dante Di Stefano

In Kentucky, these guys are building an ark
exactly as God instructed Noah
and a few years ago there were these two
brothers in Burma who were ten years old,
leading this guerilla group, God’s Army;
supposedly bullets couldn’t harm them
and they commanded thousands of soldiers
invisible to the eye, but no less
deadly. Anyway, these are the stories
I might spin out, half remembered, for you
on a day like today when we’re walking
over snow covered sidewalks in lazy
Saturday fashion. Today I mention
the ark again, how they can’t quite figure
out what gopher wood is—I talk about
those twins in the jungle, how they could kill
by just pointing their rifles at the ground.
I wonder all the while if you’re really alright,
after having gone to your mother’s grave
just yesterday. In the Starbucks parking lot,
we look at a streetlight as you warm
the car and snow falls like invisible
soldiers or gnats that swarmed the animals
as they boarded that boat before the flood.
How lucky love makes us—that we might see
the simple miracle of snow falling
without irony and be grateful now
for a car whose heaters work, two coffees,
and no news of the world in all its strange
deluges, save the little wet halos
the flakes leave a moment after they melt.


Dante Di Stefano‘s poetry and essays have appeared recently, or are forthcoming, in The Writer’s Chronicle, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, The Southern California Review, The Hollins Critic, Gris-Gris, and elsewhere. He was the winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, The Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize. He currently serves as a poetry editor for Harpur Palate and he was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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