Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away.
—Matthew 24:39

And so it was—twenty-two and suddenly

gushing, as if a dam had burst or a thundercloud
deep inside the storm of me, the flood
like a horse loosed from its stable, blood

racing down my thighs, I thought
surely I will die, so much of me
outside of me and still more

leaving, an exodus, the blood
rushing as animals do just before
the worst of it, as they must have

done before the deluge came, those left
behind, as from their homes
the unspared—perhaps one of them

a woman, my age—looked on
with something close to wonder,
unaware of what approached.  

From Deluge by Leila Chatti. Reprinted with permissions from Copper Canyon Press.

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