Medusa Surrenders by Chad Foret


Strangers always tried to touch
                my hair. They said, Why not wear
                a hat if you don’t want attention?

I’m sorry if my body is alive. I have
                to beg my head to hold its tongue.
                So much as a hiss & it’s solitary.
Perseus says he is in love with me,
                but he’s always measuring my skull
                when I’m asleep, swearing Athena
is out of our lives, saying, Never doubt
                the lipstick on my shield.
I dream my face
                is soaring in the air. My neck is gasping
& the blood is like a long comb. Perseus
                arrives, twisting cigarettes into the sand
                & singing, Where it too-ra-loo-ra lies...
He wants to free me, but he doesn’t
                have the money. He just has
                a razor. I don’t make it easy.
My skin is slippery & eats all the water
                in his eyes. He asks & asks about
                my breasts, like everybody else.
I say they weigh the same as
                a grenade. Shut up, he says. I don’t
                know how to die the way he wants.


Chad Foret is a PhD candidate in Poetry, teacher, and editor of Arete at the University of Southern Mississippi. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2018, MAYDAY, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other journals and anthologies.