Galatea, by Steffannie Alter
It was his chisel that carved bone,
his careful fingers molded flesh,
although not meant as flesh then,
only refuge. Tell me: what does it mean
to be more than wanted
so hands unfold from ivory creases
and lips peel in the cold like snake-skin?
I never asked for this brain, these joints
between finger-bones spread open;
I could've kept the whole damn body
for myself. But when a man
finds warmth or touch and terms it love...
To Aphrodite: sister, goddess, servant
of man and his desire. I must give thanks
for your kindness, its excess,
abundance dripping like candle-wax
from the temple’s altar. I never prayed.
What, and to whom, have you given?
Each year a sacrifice
and another bull goes up in smoke.
Steffannie Alter lives in Houston, Texas where she is a Master of Arts in Teaching candidate at Rice University. She is the former poetry editor of R2: The Rice Review, and her work has previously been published in Sou'wester.
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