pillar of salt i stood like a stop sign & watched the leaves turn static. stopped eating any slices & took to prepparing for fires. the punishing god is my favorite because he makes sense & acts just like my father. in summer, i was a little girl barefoot in my television-watching. the news is a kind of city. bumper to bumper dreaming. a stop light dangles around my neck. we used to talk about the future like a vegetable-can on the shelf. i pried the morning open with my teeth. scrolled past radiation dances & a mouthful of rubber. my car went belly-up in the poison. my brothers merged into one. i told myself to look at beautiful things like nail polish jars & sticky notes. the street flooded to the window. my partner became a blue balloon. everyone stopped believing in water. i should have dug a well. i should have sewn a quilt from single-socks. i should have focused on my hands--inspected each crease & fold & found the future teeming there but i looked & looked & looked. i saw computer screen dazzle & phone mirage. invented new kinds of burning. i saw neighbors shed clothes & honk at the sun. i saw the trees shave their legs & the year tuck its chin to chest & rolled far away from grasp. tasted the salt of my own skin. god commanded me "hold still & look."