Do not look behind you.
by Dana Littlepage Smith
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.