Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15



Rebecca Foust
| poetry


Do you still look and see that it is good?
You spoke, then saw what you’d wrought.
We are the monster in the mirror, God,

your world made of words. Let there be untied
sky from earth and sea, night from light,
and you looked and saw that it was good.

With spit and a fistful of dust, you made
the first man. Then to make Eve, took him apart.
You made everything, even the mirror, God

and it’s all carnage. A cell cleaves to breed.
Before one war ends, the next one will start,
then the next—still looking? Still good?—

and the eyes that weep for spilled blood
are set in a head that plots the next slaughter.
A monster. Picasso’s vexed mirror. O God,

how will you judge the quick and the dead
when the dead include this child for a martyr?
Can you really still look and say it is good?
The monster’s in your mirror; it’s you, God.

Rebecca Foust’s books include Paradise Drive, reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. Recent recognitions include the Cavafy Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Lascaux Flash Fiction Prize and the ALR Fiction Prize.