Lyric Fragment

by Sonya Taaffe

Under the olives, I unbraid your hair
dark as violets in the sea-shifting light,
the sea who shrugs and turns a shoulder
as black and white sails come and go.
Scene-stealing Anakreon leans over the page,
his sunflower head reflecting, reminding me
of Eros who rattles our hearts with riot and ecstasy,
wins the throw against us every time.
I let these stars of bone fall where the words may,
but only you can tell me whether they spell
Eresos or Texas, fire-banked maple or summer melilot,
Alexander, Aphrodite, the Dog.

Sonya Taaffe's short stories and poems have appeared in such venues as The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, Last Drink Bird Head, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, and Trochu divné kusy 3. Her work can be found in the collections Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books) and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press). She is currently on the editorial staff of Strange Horizons; she holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object.

When asked what instrument would be made of her should she be pulled from a pond by a miller's daughter, she answered as follows: "I don't think anyone has ever successfully made a theremin from drowned bones, but I like to think I could be the first."

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