The Birth of Athena
Look at that spackled face. The starched curls. The lah-de-dah veiled hat. And that rose! That rose is a second entity, Athena sprung fully formed from Zeus’ head. That’s the way it is with roses. One second they’re as tiny as a baby’s puckered palm. But turn around to water the azalea, or admire a cardinal, and boom! There’s the rose already world-weary and reeking of perfume. Listen. Don’t admire the woman’s lace collar. Or her perfectly tailored jacket. Or the purse white-knuckled in her hand. Behold the blot of red that sits atop her lips like a bloated heart. There’s a smirk beneath that layer of paint. And it’s for you.
Tina Barry is the author of Mall Flower, poems and short fiction (Big Table Publishing, 2015). Her work has appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2016, Drunken Boat, The Light Ekphrastic, and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, among other journals and anthologies. Barry lives with her husband and two cats in the village of High Falls, NY.
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