November 2015


i am Danaë, a divine golden

symphony between my legs. i am Helen

on the ramparts forlorn. here, i’m cutting my hair

in the hotel bathroom. here, i’m crashing

my planet into your planet, let’s see 

which one drowns the other, generations of princes 

wiped out. my ashes on your ashes, none remembered, some forgotten.

i am Medusa 

the instant her head goes missing.


my mother says i am an angel

found only in nightmares. she says she doused me

in gasoline when i was two and held a match to me,

but i didn’t burn. i believe her. at the doorway, my father stood

with his newspaper, his cup of black coffee, and said,

“like mother, like daughter.”


i don't want to believe him.


i’m not a girl.

-then what are you?

many things.

-all right, like what?

a yellow brush. a seashell

held to a child’s ear. a terrible crime in the tropics.

victim interviews. tiny atoms splitting. music playing

at a quinceañera. wolves fighting over elk meat.

duffel bags full of cash. the moment a son

grows taller than his father. the complete

works of Jorge Luis Borges. the Iberian Peninsula, a--

-jesus, okay, sorry i asked, are you an entire world at war?

yes, that too. all of it, too. i am it all, entirely.


three girls tangled on a white bed.

what is this?

someone whispers.

what are we? 

an electric silence.

someone answers, Cerberus.


i  don't believe them.