Before the Next Apocalypse

A painting of dark blue ocean waves cresting

would those who used
to be weather
have a word for
the weight of fall
sky setting in may?

again i am inclined
to ask what i have

my moon/scape
goat insecure
ly reflected in
a pool of my

or did i just
inherit these waters
these corroding

wherein my ark
learns to float,
is that the same
as swimming?

i mean,
is this enough?

my unsettled
settled self rises to
the sun’s rising
hotter & hotter &
i have never been at ease
with the way of tides.

(fickle fish.)

i want to sit in green woods
secure in my relation to sea
levels & go on breathing
out of water
all my bodies rising under pain
of blaze
a little longer

before my two fish call
new weather
to arms against our selfish limbs
our blooded olive branch.

Abigail Chabitnoy is the author of In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful (Wesleyan, 2022) and How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan, 2019), shortlisted for the 2020 International Griffin Prize for Poetry and winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award. She teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA program and is an assistant professor at UMass Amherst.