- Song of Victor(ia), and: Andromeda
Song of Victor(ia)
He emulates a womanbut he doesn’t knowthe pangs of silence endured likea dog wearing a muzzle;he lets his hips sway and dip when he walksbut he doesn’t knowhow my own mother for years would say“keep your legs closed; I am not raising a slut;”he lets his tongue linger over S’sbut he doesn’t knowthe days when i want to eradicatethe possibility of bearing child;he flits his eyes coylybut he doesn’t knowhow i was raised to “never look a man in the eye,”my neck made to bend perpetually,swan-like, so my gaze grazes the floor;he says to me “it’s okay to cry” buteven he wouldn’t say that to another man;and he dreams of beingthe way the sepals of an orchid openrevealing the petals, invisible inking spotson the lips, bright colorsencouraged by the sunbut he doesn’t know how hard it isto live the rest of the timewithout blooming.
I found her, standing against the tide, waves plashingat her sandaled feet. I knelt, my hands shaking withrestraint not to touch, for she knew naught of me.She was diminutive in stature with feetlike a dancer, high arches and delicate ankles,slim calves, dimpled knees, thighsthat rounded into wide hips that slopedinto a nipped-in waist, her breasts heavyand soft, her shoulders round, her arms longtied above her head, her neck swan-like,her head oval with a visage of plump lips,she awakened from slumber. As the sunlathed her in its dying glow, her eyesdark, devoid of stars pierced into mine.drew me in to her dusk, the edge of her night. [End Page 650] Then I saw her hair matted and webbedwith mist from the sea. Her purple robes dirtiedwith filth and dried blood, were ripped and torn.She began to yank against the chains haphazardly,her body flailing against the rocks.When she could not free herself her struggles diedand she began to sway side to side.There were faint bruises about her throat,about her arms, her legs, her torso.I could see ropes and chains bound about her.Manacles had long since dug into herwrists and ankles, rivulets of bloodbeaded and dried on her arms. And she smelledof the salty sea, stale sweat and spew.
But why must such beauty fade now?Why should she be chained to these very rocks?When she began to shiver, to weep, and to groan,I took my fiery sword from its scabbardand burned through the shackles. Yetshe begged me to leave her here for fearthe people may find her outside the belly of the beast.I promised to return once more,left my cloak and sought outthe Gorgon. Of her I would drinkto the dying day of my youth. [End Page 651]
Natasha Andreil earned her baccalaureate degree in English from Webster University. She lives in Longmont, Colorado, where she manages Stasia Press, an electronic press devoted to poetry chapbooks.