Athena Talks to Her Therapist about Zeus


Athena Talks to Her Therapist about Zeus

To hear my father tell it

I am his idea made
The continuation of a thought he is still having.

He introduces me with an arm tight around my shoulders
and a tone that says
Behold this laurel I have grown.

Perhaps I should be grateful
he never sees me as a woman.
Not the way he sees other women as women.

Which is to say: as girls.

Which is to say: as barely more / rarely more
than cows
or slot machines.

I lay down with my own snatched mortal
an awestruck youth tender and bruisable as an olive.

As I ran my tongue along his sinewed curves

I prayed for the vulgar piercing
to cancel out my virgin goddess destiny

my father’s daughter’s never-to-be-touched destiny

and rode my mount until the heat of our bodies
rose thick and pungent
as charry smoke from any sacrificial offal.

In their own fear
the Muses never include this part of the story.


[Image via]

9 thoughts on “Athena Talks to Her Therapist about Zeus

  1. Hi Alice!

    I am so glad you linked me to this piece. I love the change in agency over the course of the piece, from the narrator opening with herself in relation to her father, to her own sexual identity (which even that cannot be extricated from the father in a way). I really appreciate the imagery of cows and slot machines as well, that is a particularly strong moment in a strong poem! Also I CANNOT get over that title. Amazing!

    Thank you for writing this!


    Liked by 1 person

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