Lot’s Daughters – Bruce J. Berger

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Why did we need to preserve the human race?
Fooled by the earthquake, made
drunk by sulfurous smell, we gagged
as we fled. Saw a path through lightning,
all the way to the mountain’s crest,
where the end of earth toyed with God’s belly.
Followed him as if tethered to his belt.

Would we have not fared better if we’d stayed
with our mother? Lingered long enough to be consumed
with her? Would future generations crush us now
if we’d never clawed our way to this place
where we believed the world of men had ended?
We fled when there were no men left in S’dom to pursue us.

And that fool, whose sperm brought us into being,
could think of nothing but isolation.
Wanted only to hide in the deepest, cold cave.
Wanted only that, plus the warm bodies of his daughters
to guard against the night.

So what else could we do
when we thought we were the last?
We did what he wanted.
We were already worthless goods to him.
He offered us to the raging mob in his pretense of holiness.
He asked them to defile us rather than harm his spectral guests.
He asked them to do what he dreamed of doing himself.
It would have been better if they had torn us to shreds.

We gave him strong drink to protect his reputation.
He could say he was drunk, but he knew.
We were the field, and he the plow.
He smiled when we gasped.
We were the moist loam, and he the seed.
He shuddered in his relief when we cried.
We were the stalks, and he the scythe.
He prided himself when we bore his children.

We gave them names and lost our own.

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