Leda Revisited

by LeeAnn Olivier

Deeply influenced by a childhood spent in the bayous of South Louisiana, LeeAnn Olivier subverts and re-tells myths and fairy tales from a feminist perspective in her poetry and creative nonfiction. Most recently, Olivier’s poems explore the dark thread of violence and addiction that runs through the roots of her family tree. Her writing has recently appeared in the literary journals Hermeneutic Chaos, Damselfly Press, Stone Highway Review, BioStories, SWAMP, Jelly Bucket, and Sojourn. She teaches English full-time at a community college in Texas and is currently working on her MFA in Poetry at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.
—Mae West

 

Maybe this is the real myth: I take a shape-
shifter, an all-father, for a lover, hard
and fast. Ardently we bite back grief, then sleep,

curled wolves, his teeth at the top of my spine,
his adamant thigh thrust between mine, a scythe
parting wheat. And you would squirm to hear how I spoon-

feed him my ripe sex. For six weeks each dawn
I gather my strewn bones from around his bed, our
couplings are little holocausts, leaving my body

bruised but luminary, bright spinal knurls flecked
against the wall, a Pollock painting, until
your ghost crawls to the lip of my dream, surfacing

as sure as film on boiled milk. Only then
an aluminum mourning creeps tight in my throat,
the wails of a Chinese opera, my intestines

cut into sections on the bathroom floor. Doubled
over for days with strange bedfellows
waltzing in the pitch of my gut, I give

my body over to grieving. My jaw goes
slack, the pill bottle clacks against the night
table, white and clean as a swan.

 


Deeply influenced by a childhood spent in the bayous of South Louisiana, LeeAnn Olivier subverts and re-tells myths and fairy tales from a feminist perspective in her poetry and creative nonfiction. Most recently, Olivier’s poems explore the dark thread of violence and addiction that runs through the roots of her family tree. Her writing has recently appeared in the literary journals Hermeneutic Chaos, Damselfly Press, Stone Highway Review, BioStories, SWAMP, Jelly Bucket, and Sojourn. She teaches English full-time at a community college in Texas and is currently working on her MFA in Poetry at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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