No Ark

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No Ark

by Nickole Brown
Southern Cultures, Vol. 27, No. 1: Human/Nature

“I was walking—no, Mary, not through the woods / or along any breezy shore—but across the lot to the discount store.

Ain’t no foxes here, Mary. Ain’t no grasshoppers resting
in my picnic palm. Ain’t too many creatures worth a poem

like yours, just mewling strays tucked under the dangerous warmth
of a pickup’s hood, just poodles with painted nails clicking

pink across mama’s linoleum floor—so few animals left to this chain-store
sprawl, this clocked-in, bottled, fluorescent-lit existence, even our air

conditioned, vents pointing down with a force fierce enough to keep
a bouquet of daisies in full bloom for months. >