Hunter College, CUNY Poetry Prize, 2016
by Mia Kang
Small bird in a new world – an olive leaf,
as the story goes. Have you now warred sufficiently
for your heart to go ahead with stopping?
I brought everything with me and threw the rest away.
Beneath the boards, a store of supplies: I myself
was empty and inedible until further notice.
The beasts piled up on the gangway.
Quit making meaning. Just say that the cows smelled
and the cats bickered, that the storm came
and the boat floats. That the bird lands
in the hand of one who knows not what he has.
Noah, you fool, thinking you had a duty
to survive. Just look – we’re still stuck
taking roll call in pairs. No one gets out alive.