Karen An-hwei Lee: Song of Vayeira

After leaving the wreck, I looked back
at a phosphor city
without turning.
            I was not anyone’s wife.

God had not commanded me

What I witnessed –
who sought shelter at the last minute.
Stones began to shatter and flow
under the sanctuary.

angels came to warn us.

What we built lay in ruins,
total devastation.

A flint of sulfur
            on the wind,

how strangers failed
in ragged and wretched ways,
treating me as a foreigner,

voiceless pillar.



*Vayeira is Hebrew for “and He appeared.”

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