Made Out of the Terror Jazz SextonThe Sea King smells like salt. Inside me, he cuts like aluminum. His niece says, Go now, from this house of Athena. Be hideous. Be unwanted. Goddess of Wisdom, are you wise to men taking things women have sworn to keep? I burn my holy robes, and hit the road. One year later I’m an expat holding it together in NYC. My hair curls up coarse and green from chlorinated water. I gag at the smell of salt now. I only swim in pools. Man from the freak show on Coney says I’m the vision of a snake. Join us. Being unwanted doesn’t mean I'm desperate for anyone to want me. I won’t go on display behind glass, though I know why you’d put a snake in captivity I am the nightmare made out of the terror of great men afraid of being destroyed by the hole between my legs, the darkness that consumes and produces. That thing between your legs is no snake, Sea King. It’s one third of your trident that can’t hold anything together. It rips through good people. Here I am in hideous glory, gliding over sand at dusk, out of reach of waves hesitating at the shore. Worry for your kingdom, for I have venom. Every night my vagina hums battle hymns, reminding me I am the terror that keeps the tides low.
Jazz Sexton’s poetry has appeared in Stone Telling and inkscrawl. She is always expanding her identity by transgressing one liminal zone or another. Her musings can be found at jazzsexton.com and @jazzsexton on Twitter. Jazz lives in Pittsburgh, PA.