I am beginning to understand why Daphne became a
why her calves ached from chasing and her
stomach heaved from pacing: she was
sick with wanting,
and not even hers.
and her hair and bones stopped flowing to start growing,
to be made of earth.
(She did not choose this second birth
but they never tell you that).
I am beginning to comprehend why standing still till
they cut her down,
and flinging her out stuck arms to the sky
was better than trying to outrun the sun, she just
wanted to be done;
to exist without explaining.
I am beginning,
in that sickly stunted way
that children understand dying and
the wind can whistle your name,
to know why she chose to withstand the snow
and the ice and the gods and the rain—
rather than let herself be claimed she just
wanted to be sane, to
pick herself up when she felt her own pain without
worrying who was watching and
hoping to be forgot.
I am beginning to understand but,
by the gods,
I wish I did not.
Jaime Marvin is a first year student at Wesleyan University. She feels a deep love for both Persephone and paperbacks, and a deep ire for catcallers. Her passions include moonlight, the smell of cinnamon, and lilac bushes. In her spare time she plots immodestly ambitious novels.