Her hair is Bohemian chic—lots of locks
Loose and blow lovely, barely bound
By light blue ribbon. Her uncovered breast
Round as moon. Her whole pale palace.
Pearly skin inside a shell, presence as pearl,
The precious of unearthly oyster, bivalve
Sifting sand, now disclosing sea secret.
This is the face that launched a thousand ships.
Though her birth is watery, she evokes serene
Sand dunes, miles and miles of dunes, mulishly
Harsh and lovely, hungry and full, peacemaking
As war. Beauty of apartheid, beauty of sex trade,
Beauty pregnant as a river-drowned gun.
Dayna Patterson is the Editor for Psaltery & Lyre and the Managing Editor for Bellingham Review. Her chapbooks, Loose Threads and Mothering, are available from Flutter Press.
Artwork: Thomas Dodd, “Inked Goddess #1”