by Anna-Marie Sprenger
A year after we read the Odyssey my friends tease me
about my suitors & sneak into my room when I
sleep, to pebble my walls with stock photos of women
weaving. They say they think I am like Penelope in that I am
too forgiving. I say she knows how to bite
down onto a knife before it reaches her
heart. This is not the story of a homecoming.
This is the story of a lie that continues
to spin until someone puts a foot down,
but no one does. I never
learned how to be angry when men lie
through smooth foreheads & liquid eyes, hard
dick supposed to mean something. I can think
of at least three times I anxiously jogged
pink highlighter over text, where Odysseus flailed his large
sword over a woman’s head – goddess or otherwise –
because she might have turned him into a pig or worse, come
to her senses. When Penelope said
she missed him, she meant watching him
watch her bare her teeth. When I say
I’m taking up crafts, I don’t mean as a distraction.
I’m careful & spend Saturday nights cobbling
smaller wingless things together lest they should swarm
me, or worse, leave. My roommate is asleep
& I wait for my evening plan who forgets where I live
& I let him. I sit dreamlessly through the night, dark circles un-corrected,
unforgiving, though I am not. By the time he remembers,
my body won’t. By then, I will make myself alone, completely.
Anna-Marie Sprenger is a linguistics PhD student at the University of Chicago. Anna-Marie’s poems have appeared in Glassworks and Silver Needle Press.