Leda, Eurydice, and Diana

Introduction

It’s more coincidence than not that these are all prominent figures in Greco-Roman folklore. Old stories of female characters’ helplessness and/or ruthlessness (in effect, definite one-dimensionality with all of two personality types available) always weirded me out. I’ve spent more than a little time wondering what would happen if famous mythological figures were fleshed-out by ACTUAL women, who know that our brains and feelings don’t just work in black-and-white. But it’s not really intentional that this is a sequence or anything like that, just a thing that irked me so I started writing about it. I found myself writing too many of them by accident one day and had to stop!


 

Leda 

 

I

My fly’s zipper
caught pubic hair
uprooted it
pinched the follicle,
wings beat like hooves
punched my chest
beak punctured hymen
oh it was glorious
rough and tumble
and a spatter of blood.

I was given a great gift.

Why do you say it
in such a mocking tone?

I don’t,
at least
not yet.

II

A blue eye, a blue, blue eye, blue for want of brown.
My Castor dropped his spoon, it clattered like magazine fire
(startled me) and now he is a man. I washed Pollux carefully
until he outgrew the sink, the tub, the yard, they are growing, growing (terrifying)
and eclipse my view of the sky, everything now dark blue and too opaque.
They’re too big for their forgotten mother, all I have left
are these ostrich egg shells.

Stupid Leda—
women are only mothers,
wives,
sisters of men.
 
That’s all right, Zeus. You’ll die too.

 

Eurydice

 

Last night you were
in danger of rolling off the edge
of the bed, which is very uncommon,
usually you’re hogging my side.
You were in danger of rolling off the edge
of the world, into some abyss.
No amount of yelling
or trying to roll you
limp like a big full sack back over
brought you from the crater’s lip,
the crater that was Nothing. It was only
when I said the word “No.”
softly and held out my hand—do you remember—?
that you took it and nuzzled safe
back to me.
It was
as simple
as that.
Would you
have done
the same?
Are we
the same?
Are you
there?

 

Diana

 

shot someone today with a rubber suction cup dart in archery class then trekked red paint footprints like the ten of diamonds five peas to each diamond all over the top of abe lincoln at mount rushmore my dogs went with me too sniffed the paint as tho i had real-life shot the guy with a sharp arrow in the belly then danced around in his blood like making wine i’ll admit i wanted to he was being a real asshole tho abe lincoln’s all right by me

 


Alexil_570xN.801696195_gafgAlex Ledford is a graduate of the MFA poetry program of the University of New Hampshire. She is originally from North Carolina and currently resides in New Hampshire.

Featured image: Poster for Urd Magazine, by Andreas Bloch + Olaf Krohn.

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