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."  

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