Medusa by Angela T. Carr

    In Ovid’s telling of the legend, the maiden Medusa, served in the Temple of Athena and was raped by the sea god, Poseidon. Athena transformed her into the Gorgon of myth, as punishment for this transgression.



After the attack, I beat myself black and blue

with evidence of my own stupidity.


Did I speak the wrong word? Or the right one?

The taunt of a colour, a scent, a smile,


the day, the time, the light – each tumble

like dice toward a blinkered destiny.


Guilt and shame circle my thoughts, the curl

of angry serpents strikes a new boundary.


Fingertip memories bruise the surface,

blacker marks below, indelible.


At night, I dream of fire and wake up burning.


Time tricks me, spills upon me unguarded

moments, dark flashes, lingering


fragments an eternity will not unwind.

I grapple with their flicker, twisting frames tight,


tighter, ’til they knot and tangle

or spool them over and back, chasing a time


before I was blessed, before I was born. And you?

You are a stone – and you cannot look at me.

This poem was first published in How To Lose Your Home & Save Your Life (Bradshaw Books, 2014). Angela T. Carr is published in journals in Ireland, the UK and US, and has been placed or shortlisted in competitions including the Bristol Poetry Prize, Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, The London Magazine and Aesthetica Creative Writing Awards. Originally from Glasgow, she lives in Dublin. More at 

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