Tryst Poetry by Alison Daniel

Rejecting Artemis

He wasn't interested in a nymph
punished after Artemis heard the kick

before there's birth.
And he wasn't concerned by the Caledonian Boar

or sacrifice of any sort,
that misconstrued substitute

when girls are turned into deer.
That was long before

he thought long and hard about what sort of woman
he'd like to keep.

Virgins, he decided,
were definitely out.

Women become too curious
if they haven't slept around,

or, at least had sex
with more than one man.

Experience that satisfaction
without the purity

of untouchable flowers
grown near an undiscovered sacred lake

means rejecting Artemis
near the peninsula

in the northern coast of the Black Sea
which after all

honors nothing
except another ritual.


2002 Alison Daniel

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