DAPHNE PURSUED BY APOLLO by Sophia Stid
A story told this many times becomes the forest.
No beginning, no end, no longer a narrative but the air
we breathe. For centuries, a woman with a name
rises from her sleep—becomes a tree—rains back down
again into her rest. One myth for how poetry began:
a man, reaching. Violence. Myth: Apollo finds the tree
inside of a woman. Apollo translates fingers into leaves,
hears a voice and calls it wind. I am not interested in Apollo.
I am interested in the father-god who could not stop
the rape but could turn his daughter into a tree—
what kind of power is that, and how does it still river through
our world? Why does nobody ask these questions? I carry more
keys than I need. Walking home from the library late, I thread
silver teeth through my fist. I am not a tree, and I am asking.