Leda, Later

Remind me: my bed is empty,
my graying hair pinned up

and tumbling from a starfish clip
where once a waterfall by Crivelli flowed

over the white shoulders of Sparta.
I do not quarrel with my warring children.

Their bad marriages are their own affairs.
I sit on the rocks and watch the waves,

my toes now horny as a tortoise’s.
That night a storm came off the sea.

I saw St. Elmo’s fire electrify the spars
and a bluish current quivered on my skin.

I studied my egg-shaped oval in the glass,
breath like a wing beat in my throat,

wind tearing white curtains, my flesh,
and feathers on my bed in flight.

I am an old woman writing poetry.
I never wanted intimacy with gods

or goddesses, didn’t want to bear
their dangerous progeny. I only dreamt

of passion, possession, surrendering
to the eternal torque of human love.

Melissa Green

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