Fathom Mag

Nineveh, Again

Published on:
January 30, 2023
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1 min.
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“This, too, was a great city once, a city on a hill,”
I would say to Jonah, sitting beneath the shade
of a tree that sprouted up overnight. “This place,
too, seemed to come up out of nowhere.

A miracle, at least in the retelling, certainly not
to the 31 dead pilgrims, or the Natives,” I’d say,
offering him a piece of bread. “And I’ve waited
for the moon to fall apart, wipe the board.”

He’d smile, decline the broiled fish. “It’s evil
to wish for Armageddon, I know, but leaving
it as is, indolent and self-satisfied, barely worth
a warning—let it all go down, deep down.”

And Jonah’d go quiet, looking over the Rockies,
a herd of bison with fur like sackcloth, jazz clubs
on Bourbon Street, the caged flame of Liberty,
and the dark Atlantic waters. “Maybe,” he’d offer,

“Maybe we call it a night, who knows how long
this redwood or earth will be here, let us sleep
and we will either wake to Judgement Day or
another morning in America, like it or not.”

J.D. Isip
J.D. Isip published his first collection of poetry, Pocketing Feathers, with Sadie Girl Press (2015). His second collection, Kissing the Wound, is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press (2023). The poem included here is part of a new project tentatively titled All Your Billows and Waves, using the story of Jonah as a framing device for the collection. His works—including poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and plays— have appeared in many magazines and journals, including Ethel ZineBorderlandsPilgrimage Press, Poetry Quarterly, and Sandpiper. J.D. writes reviews and interviews, and acts as the microfiction editor for The Blue Mountain Review. He is a full-time English professor in Plano, Texas.

Cover image by NASA.

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