Mia Willis, "penelope on odysseus."

penelope on odysseus.


to him, I am an epic hero trapped in a tragedy.

i am a myth,

a tall tale that no one around him believes

but one that he decides to tell anyway.

one that makes his eyes sparkle with the shards of broken glass I left him;

one that melts his heart down into ore both for bullets and for shields.

i am a war cry stuck in his throat,

a lump of long-forgotten touch and half-healed memory.

one that lashes him to the mast and lambasts him with siren songs of promise;

one that makes love in the silence of an open ocean.


to him, I am Ithaca on the clouds of Olympus.

i am a temple,

a monument to the viscera of something not his to begin with.

an oil tanker that smothers all the beaches we'll never see.

a child who learns to string a bow under a roof we'll never stitch together.

an eternity in the arms of a stranger. Or two. Or ten.


to him, I am sacrilege,

i am expulsion,

i am betrayal,

i am ice cold water followed by white hot iron.

i am a brand that he never wanted but will always belong to him.


to him, I am an absence of color. A void.

a vastness of black that is ever expanding.

i am always too big for his hands,

yet always small enough for his head.

i am knocks on the door on mornings where only death is awake,

i am terror of tomorrow and its accompanying lonely,

i am the smoke between his fingers and the fire against his back.