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 on
the floor for a long time, listening
quietly to the ebbing tide.
When she rose (alive, but not like before) her scalp was pulling against
itself, restless skin twisting, hissing
in her ears—
alone, terrified, she spat
venom & clawed at the teeming mass of
snakes that had replaced her hair!
her invaded flesh
embodied her distress so deeply that
from then on, whoever met her eyes
became a petrified stone statue.
Even birds dropped mid-flight, paralyzed by the sight.
In misery & shame, Medusa hid away,
surrounded by the statues she had made
till a hero came to count her death toll paid.
He chased her through her cave, using his
shining shield to mirror around blind
corners—hunted like his prey, she stayed
in shadow, praying, stalemate!
At last, in a moment of unspoken truce,
the killer commanded: “Show me your back.”
What did she have to lose?
Facing the wall, she let the torchlight
fall on her gentle curves. Then, dangling
to her waist with their whispering faces
the slenderly cascading snakes
transfixed the tired soldier by surprise.
Timidly, the female monster offered,
“Sheath your sword. Close your eyes.”
For some reason, the man obeyed, unafraid
as her footsteps & forked tongues came
close, lapping the air moist with his sweat—
then, all at once, his bare shoulders caressed
by her nuzzling heads, her warm
breasts heavy in his hands, the monster