Cammy Thomas
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.