4 questions

How can something as dainty as a rhyme stretch to accommodate a paradigm? How could stone slabs, slowly inscribed by hand, carry the weight of 10 divine commands? How did the founding fathers—all mere men— give birth to a nation with a pen? How do hearts split apart by loneliness let themselves be vulnerable again?

the empress’ new clothes

word count: 97 creative con artists convinced the queen their smartest garments could only be seen by smart people—a bold, transparent lie, which no one had the balls to take the fall for unraveling, until a kid who didn’t think much of authority said, “hi, your highness! would you tell me why you give this […]

Arachne

word count: 104 before we had spiders, a girl at a loom stood weaving, unknowing, her 8-legged doom. the pride of her village, her spinning fingers flew left & right deftly—then, arrogantly, she challenged Heaven, feeling thirsty to see how close she’d come to immortality. gliding to earth, elegant as a swan, Athena touched toes […]

phoenix

word count: 107 in the shade under the Knowledge tree lives a phoenix by the name of Poetry. times change the shape & pigment of her wings, how long her beak is & what songs she sings, but, sure as the moon follows herself in rings, the phoenix flies, dies & again revives. when in […]

prayer to Athena

word count: 93 wisdom incarnate! God of craftsmanship, adviser of kings—come to earth! materialize as the larger-than-life Alpha Female you are, Athena, i know you’re aching to stretch those strong legs—come walk hand in hand with every leader of my troubled, fast-paced age—please, Athena, born of the thundering cranium of Zeus, rise in your golden […]

Pandora

word count: 245 Pandora, the First Woman before Eve, was released into a world of all men with her ruby lips sculpted by the gods & other endowments, mostly hidden— sweet speech, easy to believe; a feel for lullabies and healing broth; gentle breath; she was delivered naked with a sealed glass jar she was […]

Medusa

word count: 284 Poseidon, Lord of the Seven Seas, stormed ashore boiling with lust into the temple where she was worshipping him & his massive suffocating body poured pushed pounded & consumed her; his roar deafening, she couldn’t hear but she could feel him forcing out her screams. What he left of her lay deathlike […]