Missing Noah’s Ark: an ekphrastic poem adapted from the painting “The Flood”

I go under.

Water rushing into my ears,

bubbling out of my nose,

eye sockets overflowing with its saltiness

my body sinks


As the black dye pinned to my skin

for the past 43 years

seeps off

dissipating into


creating a dark, hazy atmosphere

above my heavy head

My body, feather-light, floats lower,


I become the black

clunky dye,

drifting higher,


to the surface then


I am lies

contorted truths of passion and empathy for our family’s downfall.

I am greed

thirsting, devouring, licking clean all the wealth of my life.

I am anger

slapping, spitting, singeing, done to those I know best.

Tunneling down

ricocheting against the green waters,

I become numb to my senses.

I see cloaked darkness,

hearing the grain of dust fall in,

tasting the liquid that consumes my molecular structure.

I hit a wall.

I think my back feels

the splintered wood of a boat.

-Erika Bell

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