but the swan still gets the stars

but the swan still gets the stars

By: Sanjana Ramanathan

Leda can cry like a nightingale,
stuttered wingbeats against the bedsheets

but all words are smothered in the face
of a hunger god’s desires.

What else can a queen do but endure
when that trumpet neck curves across the sky?

The swell of her stomach becomes
divine intervention—

‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎ ‎(and what worse fate awaits her
‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎ feather-haired Helen?)

Fine art becomes the silver anatomy of a swan
shaped to drape like perizoma

so men with the eyes and appetite of Aquila
can call themselves connoisseurs

while they devour.

Sanjana Ramanathan (she/her) is an English student at Drexel University. She enjoys playing video games, cracking open a new book, and daydreaming. Her work is published or upcoming in clandestine lit, Babel Tower Notice Board, and Flash Frog. 

Erik van Dijk at Unsplash

You can find Sanjana @sanjubilees on Twitter.

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