This poem appears in the Winter 2021 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe, click here.

Janus guards each slow retreat as eager-
ly as he surveys the waking year; re-
prise in every exodus. Consider
Lot’s bewildered wife;     what relic did she

see burning in the halted hearth, debris
that swiveled her backward, away from birth?

Perhaps it was the passage she feared. Dearth
of remembrance so deep, it seemed a fierce
madness to enter. As for us?    The earth
has ways—stay or leave—to salt us to tears.