a photomontage by Loretta Young-Gautier)
Up late again, she reads of ancient women
Writing their legends on a night like this:
Medea’s lethal vengeance, slender Helen
Who turned a trade war golden with her kiss.
Surely they did not sit alone in studies,
Squinting under desk lamps while the moon
Grew lean & curved as Artemis’s bloody
Handmaids of the hunt. Arising soon
From mortal restlessness, she makes a start
By climbing on her desk & peeling back
The ceiling tiles until her stifled heart
Is satisfied with sky. Her next attack
Reveals beneath the carpet’s well-worn weave
Not polished oak, but sand -- a trackless beach
For making tracks toward what she once believed
Might be her future drifting out of reach,
Yet trailing in its wake a siren voice
Tempting her to guess what might be saved.
She kicks her loafers off & makes her choice.
The books crest overhead, a wine-dark wave.
K. SCHWADER lives in Westminster, Colorado. Her first poetry collection,
The Worms Remember (Hive) appeared in 2001, and her second collection,
Architectures of Night, is forthcoming from Dark Regions Press.]