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The Lover of Zeus

by Holly Day


She woke up on the beach, covered in sand

the broken arm of a starfish clutched in her fist

as if in payment for an especially horrific deed.

She dropped the single, spiky limb as soon as she knew

what it was, watched it twist in the wake before rolling

back out to sea, perhaps to grow a whole new body

perhaps in search of its old one.


There are risks that come with having trysts with a god

both to the mother and the child. She knew this,

that she might be pregnant with a bear or a wolf

or a sad, lonely thing with snakes for hair, a child

predestined to die some horrible death:

ripped apart by Amazons, gored by a bull,

nailed to a cross.