A HATE POEM. FOR POSEIDON, GOD OF THE OCEAN By Dorothy McGinnis

A HATE POEM. FOR POSEIDON, GOD OF THE OCEAN

POSEIDON ; i’ve been thinking a lot
about the titanic lately.
not about unsinkable things (i’ve
looked in my reflection long enough
to understand we will all die gasping for air.)
but instead about the intent of a drowning thing.

POSEIDON ; i know you.
you are a poet. a snarling beast who calls me beautiful.

POSEIDON ; you keep making spotify playlists named
after girls like alexandria, or dorothy. and i keep
Listening to them just to tear my guts out.

POSEIDON ; remember: demeter, goddess of the harvest
made herself horse to evade your rape,
and so you, too, became stallion to chase her down.
consume her in the flesh she took as safe harbor.

POSEIDON ; you work of whirlpool, you vicious tide.
medusa was a mortal woman you raped.
athena gave her the stone gaze so no man could
ravage her again.
what horror, that safety from the god
of the ocean must be to make
ourselves serpentine.

POSEIDON ; i heard you that night, whispering
to brock turner. if i could, i’d wish the strength of snakes
and stones on every woman on every college campus.
make each frat boy a statue to commemorate the drowned.

POSEIDON ; they talk like you made a mastery of assault,
what can a woman’s voice be to the roar of waves, anyway?
to the clutch of tentacles? to the stampede? to the sweet grin
of a “really nice guy?”

POSEIDON ; I hate that in my mind you
look so much like the last man
to lap up my consent as a waning tide
to say “i thought you wanted this.”
Poseidon, no one told me you would have a fucking man bun.
An English degree. No one mentioned we’d love the same music,
or that you’d keep me up all night reading a book to me over the phone.

POSEIDON ; fuck you.
all the waterlogged sorrow you stand for.
fuck your love poems. fuck each man who speaks of
women like another wave to crash.

POSEIDON ; give me the shrapnel and i will shipwreck
through your heart

POSEIDON ; don’t you dare call me sweet names ;
your words aren’t honeysuckle any more.

POSIEDON ; don’t pretend you’re the hero. you can’t shape shift
from man to stallion and call me the blind spot
in your vision anymore, asshole. don’t play act like in the right
lighting, like if i squint my eyes and
bite my tongue then swallow my whole heart
you become the protagonist, this tragic misunderstood man.
let us cry for the poor boy who kept finding his hands on
women’s bodies when he never meant to.

POSEIDON ; i believe the titanic sunk herself,
that she thought it easier to sink than
call the ocean’s arms “home.” that there’s a reason we dote ships
with feminine pronouns. isn’t it womanhood to
be destroyed by what you love,
be it men or the sea?

POSEIDON ; i am nothing if not titanic.

POSEIDON ; i will tsunami these handfuls of manipulation you call apology.
it’s too fuckin late.

By Dorothy McGinnis

Biography:

A poet from Salt Lake City, Utah, Dorothy does her best as much as she can and also confirms she is definitely not twenty two very small baby ducks disguised as a 19-year-old woman. Dorothy has represented Salt Lake and Sugar house at the National Poetry Slam (2016, 2017) the International World Poetry Slam (2017), the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (2017), and has been chosen as the representative for the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Dorothy teaches poetry at Skyline High School, a role she loves. Her work has been seen in the Rising Phoenix Press, Feminist Thread, and the her two chapbooks, titled “On Becoming a Volcano” and “O Bless Rivers Even When they want to Overflow.” Her work has been nominated for Sundress Press’ Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.

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