The latest in a biweekly poetry series curated by Hanif Abdurraqib
Divinity deserves worship. Remember this when,
with envy, men misname your oblations a butchery.
Gild your glory elsewhere. Watch how they fear the
sun titan's power in a woman's hands, nestled Selene
in the moon and Eos in his early blush, praying us
soft as the sky's pastels. The Heliades do not swallow
our splendor, my dear. With the same light we beget
and burn and bind and blind. Our choices are none of
mortals' business. Cut out the cubes of your brother's
cadaver and I will absolve your blame. Blessed niece,
when you waste your good magic on a coward in golden
fleece I will call my father himself to send his best dragons
to retrieve you. May as many men of royalty spill their
kingdoms at your feet as you can dance over. When you
were born, sweet woman, I warned your father that no
man would be god enough to restrain you and he laughed,
as if I couldn't beguile his bravest guards into beasts to
eat. As if your aunt Pasiphae couldn't twist his sperm into
scorpions and snakes. We are the kind of coven who bed
kings and conquerors and yes, even cattle if we want to.
There's no difference from this far up the food chain.
Beloved witch, I wish for you an island as I have after
you tire of human simplicity. Bring Eriopis, for I know
no matter what may become of her brothers she must
also survive. Let her remember you raising that land's
first temple, not to Hera or even Hecate, but to yourself.