I'm Not a Pillar of Salt (Lot's Wife Explains to Her Husband)

I'm a woman who refuses
to dissolve in the wind. But once
even an angel's sobriquet of piety

could desolate me. When two came
to our door, you renamed our girls
tendered almond, sweet indemnity,

you promised anything
to save them. Above me,
moths flit, neurons cleaving

to aftermath.
There's a difference
between dusk and a light

that ends gracelessly,
between a man
and a man with wings.

I'd like to turn
my body into a city
where everything hallowed

is scorched by prayer.
Not my real body, just the fragments
I'm learning to outgrow.

Our daughters are taking turns
rapturing themselves up,
hard grit in their eyes,

while what's behind them
thrashes open like a dying star.
It touches my shoulder

and I'm a woman clutching a bird.
A girl clutched by a bird.
And I'm not ready to fly.

Sara Henning is the author of A Sweeter Water, as well as a chapbook, To Speak of Dahlias. Her poetry, fiction, interviews and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Verse, Willow Springs, and the Crab Orchard Review. Currently a doctoral student in English and Creative Writing at the University of South Dakota, she serves as Managing Editor for The South Dakota Review. For more information visit her here. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761