Greeks bearing fits


Dear Pen,

I tried to take it back. After I found out, I went to the sea and scrubbed myself head to toe with sand. It wasn't wine-dark that day, more like an ale, slow-moving and sweet. The droplets clung to my skin like honey and I licked inside my wrists to be sure it was water. The gods get up to such mischief, you see. But you know this.

Look, old girl, it's a hard world. We don't get to keep anything for very long. I had a pet bird for a few years. She sang Wagner and the hymns of extinct peoples. But then a storm blew up and Zeus sent her away. She spent forty days and nights searching for land for some jerks in an Ark. Her heart gave out when she finally succeeded, and she died in my palm, warbling que sera sera.

Have you ever been alone on an island? I mean really alone. Walking from end to end takes 30 minutes and I can run it five times before my breath turns to lace. Only the clouds and the water change. I've named every iteration after a cooking herb. Today we've got mustard clouds, and my skin is flaking off from yesterday's abrasion. I can't destroy all the evidence, but don't worry, I won't have his baby.

So you see. You'll get him back eventually, and I'll be the demon. I am building a boat out of reeds. I am moving to the city and launching a career in stand-up comedy.

I am filing down my horns and teeth to harmless nubs.

All the best,
Lustrous Calypso
Dearest madam,
It’s March already and the fire
danger is high—dead growth, old
winter, dry wind and etc.  So tomorrow
I’ll marry you. With water
we can ease the shock
of transplant. Sunflowers
and nightshade for you, if you wish,
radishes. We’ll thin our lives to their
strongest points. Good things will swing
toward us broad-hipped as cellos.
The long evenings will crumple
in our four fists like receipts
for small purchases.
- E

Oh, hello there,
I sorrowed much
to hear of
your vast affection. Physicians
say there is no
known cure.
Except maybe the
old wives’ remedy:
salt on your heels, red
cabbage in your armpit
(left or right), 30 years between
the walls of your father’s
house, eating red beans,
reading only reviews of new
appliances by a narrow crack
of light.
- P