Poetry by Sarah L Dixon : Aphrodite leaves the party

Poetry by Sarah L Dixon : Aphrodite leaves the party

Aphrodite leaves the party

Undaria has roped its way 
around my ankles.

Aphrodite is elated.
She had known my crown 
was made from stinging bodies,
made this trade
for a life on shore.

My skin begins to wrinkle 
as I watch her 
stretch out on the sand.

A flash of wings and striped abdomen,
a sharp stinging pain
on my left temple.
This lone sentry calls more forth 
on webbed wings

The thrum of a Waspmaster beat.

They swarm towards me
each inch of air has a pulsing body
they flaunt gold and black flak jackets
as they sting their poison in,
until my skin is thick with blisters.

I faint, waking with wasp halo intact. 
a burning buzzing warmth.
I fix on a smile and return to the party
There I find the woman 
with seaglass eyes
and the coolest handshake. 

She is still in the shallows.
Her touch balm to my stung skin.
Her kiss soothes the poison from me.
She doesn’t know I am toxic.

Her skin begins to fizz.
While she is confused
I swap my stripey hat 
for her bladderwrack crown.

The wasps conspire
linking legs so I can lift them
as one,
they are keen to feel 
this cold host.

But, this exchange was mutual.

As she steps from the waves 
with her new hat
I find I am waist-deep 
In the sea and cannot leave