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About this poet

Dana Littlepage Smith is the author of The Skin of Mercy (Cinnamon Press, 2012), Black Elk Dances for Queen Victoria (Cinnamon Press, 2007), and Women Clothed with the Sun (Louisiana State University Press, 2001). She lives in England.

Lot's Wife

     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.

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.

Dana Littlepage Smith

Dana Littlepage Smith is the author of The Skin of Mercy (Cinnamon Press, 2012), Black Elk Dances for Queen Victoria (Cinnamon Press, 2007), and Women Clothed with the Sun (Louisiana State University Press, 2001).