Prayer To Athena

This story is paired with Chapter XVII of Bulfinch’s Mythology. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free. 

When first his ship did not dock with the rest,
the smell of the sea when the wind blew west
would draw from my lips a wail as deep
as the ocean I saw sway above him.

Ten long years, it has been, wise, gray-eyed Athena.
The smell of salt has begun to awaken
parts of my flesh that will no longer sleep.

At night, in my nightgown, I unravel.
Of all the men downstairs is there
none who can see through my ruse?
The hall is dark, this bed cold and wide
and filled with the memory of his touch—

Can you who sprung from the skull of a man
understand it is time to forget?


Mary McMyne‘s poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Philadelphia Stories, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Pedestal Magazine, Word Riot, Contrary Magazine, New Delta Review, Midwestern Gothic, Poetry International, and elsewhere. Dancing Girl Press published her poetry chapbook, Wolf Skin, in 2014. She has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel in Progress, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award, and second place in the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction.