by Calypso Jewel
if you thought Leda
could not defend herself from a swan
you didn’t understand
how a woman loves
a god who comes
as something other than a man
from a single cloud lingering above her lap
or to the one ashamed to admit her craving
downy as a wedding dress.
I knew a man like you once
who wished aloud to extend himself
into the ears of strangers and vanish
before one could praise or inquire
He resembled a cloud
that trailed wherever I went
shaping himself into different animals.
tell me how to evaporate
and join you in the sky
which looked willing
to paint my body across
the kind of place lovers turn into snowflakes
a million ways to be oneself
and lay across the limbs of trees
an inhuman feat, melting
asleep as a snake at daytime
Or let us twine together on the grass
yearning to enter each other
scraping our backs on rocks
abandoning our dead skin
while some woman looks on
in her virgin’s dress.
Why do you ask me these questions
suspecting I had no form of my own
not even a cloud’s.
Married to a man
who enjoyed his power and expected
many children when I did not
all I could think was, How soft
this neck against my lips
his pulse near my throat
and that rushing
a moist breath on my earlobe
to love as irresistible as biting
into a newly plucked apple.
I opened my knees
and thrust my hips forward
and I didn’t care that his feet were cold.