Saturday, April 30, 2016

If moved

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
"Mangroves," c. 2005, heavily modified

Had the goddess been carried ashore on a shell
to the New World, it might have been on a lion’s
; had she been so borne, she might’ve made
every alligator snapper her own, not for beauty
but fierceness. Back when we all slept unformed
in the dreams of imagined ancestors, electrum
coins minted at Aegina were stamped with the
image of a turtle’s patterned shell. O Aphrodite
, if the foam that shaped you in Cythera
drifted across the ocean to touch here, and here,
along the edge of a coastal mangrove swamp—
Queen of Heaven, you’d have found our snapping
turtles to be as fearsome, as unfettered as you.

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