PDF

Jonah Boards a Ship


by Arturo Ruiz


“But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of God.” —Jonah 1:3

The wind that cries
to the perishable parts of us.

Why does he keep calling? 
I am no one
he should know.

I am a son who flees—
the first time in my life
without keys to a home.

Aboard, headed abroad,
even a storm cannot keep me
from being a figure
in someone else's dream.

What does it mean to hear 
voices in your sleep
(mother's songs, father's screams),
like a course in memory—

to sit outside the facade of yourself, 
to see your wounds,
how they bloom in the dark?

We are in danger of drowning.

This ship, hull, stern and ballast—
it will not take long
for the wind to penetrate
the inner parts of us.

Call to your god, they say.

This storm, these gusts of wind—

He is calling to me.

Endcap