El Tiburón by Natalie Holden
 

For Medusa

by Mia Parola


Women are billionaires

Too now, grasp bank accounts so filled

They should gushingly overflow

But stay confined, expand to vail their insides

Like the pockets of a man’s jeans:

Made deceivingly deep, and so foreign

We forget its owners have never overworked

Their fingers into ten small hands

Weighed down by their burdens.

Suppose we call it feminism—all 336

Of them built from nothing to stand tall,

Singlehandedly shatter wealth gaps

For themselves. They’re “go-getters” like tsunamis

Of a sea that will never feel large enough

And crashes to drown simple yellow coasts,

Strip its beaches into a tragedy,

Damaged and grotesque as the dead land

Around their own tarry oil mines.

We’re taught to loom as tall as thick smoke

That pollutes from factories controlled by a few,

Encouraged to long for a height

Far taller than our mothers longed

As together they set foot in packed universities,

The first of their family.

Suppose we call it feminism.

When Athena turned to poison

The hair of a woman with her entrancing power,

I imagine Poseidon nodding beside her,

The hand of he and his brothers on her shoulder

And the low-tide calmed as light waves

Lap up sand at the shore, drag down dainty shells

As his satisfaction sets. I don’t want the only seat

At a man’s table, or to force my frame open

To match a wide stance.

I’d rather the serpents bite at my skull,

Pick me clean and leave my skin in charred scabs

Than carry a weapon as a reward, dazzling

With our mothers’ exhausted, stolen eyes.