Favored by angels, Lot stands yards from the rude ones, brutes stumbling to his strange door. This is the free space, the step-by-step by which the tale ascends.
Everything’s made human by its flaw. The angels are ready for sleep, having arrived as if through a channel, their imaginary bodies buoyant in thistle, and animals nearby, murmuring straw.
Should she pursue, with her eye for the mercy on which the Bible’s tenderness hangs like a myth in ether? Your crookedness forgiven, liabilities exposed. A careless angel, transparent, nearby
admitting that notch of light so you may offer your human throat for the beast to note each craving error. The light forcing that affliction open. Imagine a body absolved, salt-white
narrative, calm and devout: your opposite, your mirror life. Anne had been inelegant, wife in a honeycomb of illness, and poetry took her hand, led her out.
Yet others writhe behind. Bible studies overlook the passage where Lot offers his virgin daughters to the crowd in infinite cold terms. And in Judges, we pass over the concubine, cut in pieces,
bloody. (How these quieted obsessions arrive. You can scour the ruins where angels gazed elsewhere, and angry men fought and fucked the narrative. Her side of that story did not survive.)
This is why, in the holy book, Lot’s wife looks back in the narrative, why she disregards you, angel, denying your neglect. How she whirls, revising herself visible in the story. Look.
Sylvia Plath is on the Night Train from Paris
with a lover asleep and the Olivetti on the floor of the compartment. The dark unfolding outside the window is an infinite religious space. Her mind branches, trying out crashing, inadequate metaphors.
Just days ago, she had changed one word in a problem line, leaving noun for adjective, describing the end, not the means. Then such a silvery-white there was! The language transformed, ductile, like metal. That was arrival, novitiate, your darling cell.
The train leans into lightening sky. To her left are lemon trees, yolk-yellow relenting fruit, and pastel houses on exquisite, fertile land. Close-up, the bright flowers purge their seeds, tiny, crisp coats flung finally out.
On the right, the Mediterranean forces itself repeatedly in blue, carrying on under an adamant sun. There had been a moon in the night, hadn’t there, a romantic spot on the eye somewhere? But who remembers such dopiness,
given this vertebral infinite, this agitation? On the other side of this sea is Egypt, where the girl saint evaporated to a pureness, while the anchorite suffered his body, combustible in devotion, and giving up. Now the train unloads every inch of the past,
absolving in a lustrous violence. She would like to be taken by force into the terrible sea for the malice that powers the heart for real, and shaken until she sees stars, snarling white, abrasive and well-meaning.