Sea Nymph Leucothea
Swimming beneath the dark waves,
I feel the storm, pressure in my ears,
and look up at Odysseus, his pale legs
churning in the ridges, naked,
alone, clinging to a spar.
As a bird, I break from stinging foam,
land on his broken mast. Once,
I was Ino, a human girl. Humans in the sea
must breathe, unless the gods transform them.
This man will be abandoned. The angry god
will let him die. I remove my magic scarf
to wrap around his middle, but as I reach,
he shrinks away. In his face
I see—I’m no longer human.
Still, he takes the scarf, and it scares
the water calm. I sink back into cold
and foreign gloom that is my home,
turn, and swim down.