NaPoWriMo #27

I started poem #27 using NaPoWriMo’s Day 26 prompt using the persona of mythical Andromeda and some influence from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Chosen, which I’m near the end of reading.  I started the poem yesterday and finished it this morning.  I quite like how it turned out.


a waste, he muttered
clamping my wrists in the cold metal manacles
and rubbing rough fingers down
my arms    sides of my body  and I kicked
at him with my knees
he backed away with a half-sad smile,
his priest’s robes plastered by wind
against his round belly
chanting begins

I stare out at the too-blue sea,
willing myself to be what they see
brave, bare sacrifice     willing
the water roils and churns
it is coming
the dark flash of tentacle or tail
groping the air

close my eyes
and press my back against the rocks
the sharp little points dig into myflesh
gasp       press harder
as the salt wind turns
my nipples to points
a cool spray blows across my face
lift and press harder     sudden    gasp
feel wetness emerge on my back
and elsewhere       throbbing

let Cetus take its due
not before my pleasure overflows    the last
feel the shadow behind my eyes
blocking the sun      it is coming

shivers rack my body
I pull my arms     the rough scrape
of metal until wrists, too, flow
I will become ocean for the ocean
the deep smell of iron    iron and blood
it is coming       I am so close
Hera, are you happy now?
You never reckoned this    this terrible beauty

press my back to the needly rock
hard as I can
feeling the crest of a wave
crying out
echoed in a monstrous roar outside myself
thrashing       I am ready to die

only then   then do I hear the silence
the changing has stopped    the great guttural agonies
of cetus quiet

eyes flash open
to the sight of a man approaching
the self-satisfied look of a hero
all brawn and purpose, a bulging bag
in one hand    behind him
a great rock with the gaping maw of a beast

only then do I squirm    struggle
against the chains to be free
of this man’s redemption
of the claim it will bring
his free hand pulls a sword
one swing and the chains break
my arms falling down slowly
the weight of manacles still clutching me

you are beautiful, he says
and forces his due       hero’s kiss
mortal’s hands claiming my body
he releases   as my father descends
men’s words
Mother rushes to cover me in fine cloth
relieved of the punishment of her tongue

stare at the sea
at the beast turned stone
longing      sticky with my own blood
terrible with rage
the unbargained sacrifice

condemned to be a wife.

© 2015 by Robin A. Sams


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