Do not look behind you.	
          --Gen. 19:17

So simple a mistake. They say I turned to look; 
instead it was to listen. I did not know: only the dead 
can stand the music of the spheres made mortal.

Caught in my hood, the hard chords of chaos:
the childish scream, the mother's litany as she names 
the loss which instantly unnames her.

And then the inconceivable: between the flint 
blast and the crack of iron, I heard 
the burning of the scorched moth wing,

the lily as its petals crisp to white fire, 
but more than these, the footfall 
of a naked man who runs to nothing.

And so I chose this brine, 
now crystals shift. The salt dissolves
and I want to speak.

Whore of all hopes, I now believe
some stories survive 
in order to remake their endings.

From Women Clothed with the Sun by Dana Littlepage Smith. Copyright © 2001 by Dana Littlepage Smith. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.