“Leda,” “Mary Magdalene is” and “Aeaea”

Poetry by Virginia Laurie

“Leda,” “Mary Magdalene is” and “Aeaea”

Leda

Leda carries so many

swanlike things

inside her body.

King-daughter, Sparta’s

Wife, she was made sturdy

for transaction.

We bend and feel the

Sky watching us

like Leda.

The Sky quakes and splits:

lightning forked until it too

is a feathered thing.

A white thing, cloud made

bone and given gravity, glue.

Something to touch.

She saves the cloud from eagle

talons. She wants to save him.

We all do.

There is room for the aberrant

in myth. We are allowed to sit in

them, lopsided.

She sits in the middle of a lake,

and that night, there is the

usual scrapping.

Furrowed now, two roads grow.

Things hatch, gold or silver. Things

start falling from the sky.

Leda’s desire has made the

most glittering monster. It is lake-

still. It is insatiable.

It is telegony. It is not real. It is a

grudge she will hold when he does not

save her too.

She is lying in a lake that is also a bed

filled with the aberrations.

We all do.

Mary Magdalene is

Mary Magdalene power poses in a store window lit neon red.

              Mary Magdalene strolls the streets of Bangkok.

                            Mary Magdalene is signing up for sugardaddy.com.

                                          Mary Magdalene works out of a bar in Texas.

                                                        Mary Magdalene is screwing her pastor for free.

                                          Mary Magdalene is buying a discreet pregnancy test in Midtown.

                           Mary Magdalene is doing belly flops on the hard sand.

               Mary Magdalene is running away.

Mary Magdalene is getting back out of the red pick-up.

              Mary Magdalene has worn a hole in her jeans.

                            Mary Magdalene is dropping to her knees.

                                          Mary Magdalene is buying herself a short stack.

                                                         Mary Magdalene is waiting for the sun to go down.

                                                                       Mary Magdalene is sweating through the fun.

                                                                                     Mary Magdalene has brick burn on her back.

                                                                                                   Mary Magdalene is passed out in the snow.

                                                                                     Mary Magdalene got straight As and Bs.

                                                                       Mary Magdalene has a dream.

                             Mary Magdalene has a knife to her throat.

                Mary Magdalene is a saint.

 Mary Magdalene is

             a woman

             you think you know.

Aeaea

I am the witch here and your green eyes won’t

scare me out of my hiccups tonight. I can hold

the whole of the fireplace’s warmth in one tilt

of the head, so lean closer and see, the secrets are

written on the back of my neck here, in a foreign

tongue, something gold as ichor, brined in snow,

I have the secrets in a crushed-up daisy, the lioness’

post-hunt repose, the endless appetite, the woman

with so much hunger they called her whirlpool,

Charybdis, the many-headed monster of my desire

picking off passing sailors. If you didn’t stuff

your ears so with wax, I would invite you to rest

your bones at the bottom of the sea floor with

the whale floats and the detritus of landed dreams.

You can’t laugh me out of a life or my dues or

tape a milk-white flower to the end of your death

black spear and call it concern for me. I have seen

your kind of man and have heard him squeal himself

out of a throat on my kitchen tile floor.

About the Author

Virginia Laurie

Virginia Laurie is a student at Washington and Lee University whose work has been published in Apricity, LandLocked, Panoply, Phantom Kangaroo and Merrimack Review.