MEDUSA WRITES FOR TEEN VOGUE
I have no idea what to do with
all these split ends. It seems
everything I grow
ends up dead? What should I do?
signed, Anne Boleyn
I have heard that I need to drink
more water for my skin,
but no matter how much I swallow
my reflection still shines back a corpse. Advice?
Thanks, sincerely, Ophelia
What do they want from me?
Love, Marilyn Monroe
Dear women of vast wounds and shallow seas,
They will see girlhood in your
dimples and conclude you are ripe.
The first time Poseidon said my name,
he held it on his tongue
like a cough drop, hand on my pulse
as if he wanted me to know
something within him could only be healed
by the rise and fall of my breast.
The last time Athena sighed “Medusa”,
cursed me with snakes, a face etched
in screams of torture, she promised
no man would take on the labor of
finding the exact distance between
mortality and godhood
within me, see me
as something gaping
and rub me raw.
Athena swore this would spare me the sin
of Poseidon, that no tsunami could conquer
this much ugly.
Anne: the best parts of you are the
ones they cannot bleed, where you are
Ophelia: I know a lot about death but
a lot less about reflections. Turn the nunnery
of your collarbone inside out, find
all of you that is river, mix it oil, and call it Cleveland.
Marilyn: take the pins out of your
corset and find where they fit
in the tenderest parts of all of them.
Kesha: Make your cheekbones scythe,
grow yourself new wings, no feathers,
just acid. Only the living will call you a monster.
When they come for you,
discover you tore out
all the pretty and stitched
in horror, that the pregnancy of violence
has swollen where you were lilac blooming,
and they say they are Herculean for how they hate you,
title themselves heroes as they call you a slut.
Do not curve into bed frame or conquest,
no matter how badly you ache to be held.
And watch them become stone so easy.
At night, when all the vacant space
around you is screaming, run your hands over the soft landslide
of your body (since no one else can do it for you)
and marvel at how you are not stone. Not yet. Not ever.
By Dorothy McGinnis
Dorothy is a performer, a poet, and also very possibly 22 very little baby ducks disguised as a human. No one is certain. Dottie knew her path was clear when a substitute teacher in her 9th grade theatre class said one of her performances was so convincing he almost thought she was his ex wife. Dorothy has been published on Voicemail Poetry and Rejected Poetry Journal. Dorothy was a member of the 2016 Salt City Unified Team and the 2017 YouSpeak team. Her poem “English Classes”, about how Zelda Fitzgerald deserved SO MUCH BETTER can be seen on Write About Now’s youtube channel.