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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

I am remembered as Lot’s wife

By: Josie Levin

but before my Marriage,

i was the Daughter of Sodom and Gomorrah

did i know what it was to Fall?

before my children clasped Salt between their fingers to feel my Embrace? in my dreams I knew Everything before it came to Be.

holding no Memory of how it came to me

but i was ignorant, in Truth. my Mother ensured i Be.

shielding my eyes with Hands made of stronger stuff than mine,

but still crumbled under the Weight of a city Undone.

my Mother told me,

you must never turn back. the twist of your ankle

will be your downfall, daughter.

your shoulders, my dear,

must never waver from their arch

that slow crawl up your neck is your safety net. without it

they will drip their way down the length

of your back”

when my Mother spoke these Words she murmured them

against the crown of my head As if she could whisper them into my mind, away from my eyes,

she wrapped her Fingers around my throat, and,

pressed Down

like hands sheltering a wounded Creature before snapping it in Two

but she doesn’t tear me apart, though she could without moving a muscle

instead my Mother is a Mercy Maker. when the Well of Human Kindness dries up she is the Ancient Glacier below the crust worming warming waters into its Depths

In defeat, she admits

we are born understanding nothing because the universe is a mother too and knows that birth should only scar the creator

In the end I am the daughter of Sodom and Gomorrah I was made in their image

And for my birth, they paid the price

when my mother released me, she imparted:

“it is as human to hesitate as it is to die so to live in your humanity is to fall in a pillar of salt”

i am used to loneliness. the path stretching out in front of me is a familiar one i could trace it with my toes, i could walk it Backwards my mother’s warning, Her parting words Seared to my forehead, she Knew what it was to fall. and i Know

no descent sweeter than that of a salt pillar

now, standing before me, my husband says,

our home has been forsaken seen for its sins

and will be buried in the sea

Lot Speaks through my Mother’s teeth, when he instructs

“do not turn back all that lies behind us is gone and if we dwell in that memory We will be too”

i do what I have always done in the face of these orders: Heed no Warning, Obey no Law, Turn Around


Josie Levin is a visual artist and poet. She lives in Indianapolis, reads large volumes of books and occasionally writes her own. She has been published in several publications, including Ink & Voices, The 2River View, and Slaughterhouse Magazine.


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