Stella Reed

Issue #
October 3, 2017

Anatomy of a Feather: Leda

If the transformed god

had not been elegant

and mute, but rough

and noisy, no more able to float

than a cable car,

if, rather than drop,

he lay with me for a while,

tonguing each tooth

clean as a cat skull,

if he’d memorized the rise

of my back, its nobs

of fetal wings,

had he picked wild iris

in the rain,

the stems unable

to bear the heat

of his hands so I might press

the petals between my thighs,

if leaves had not swirled

around my descent,

if I’d not been broken

by river rocks, hadn’t limped

from the shore with one eye tracking

that distant mountain,

clouds ringing its summit,

my body like its melting snow.

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