the gods are not dead. when men speak to me like i can’t read, i feel athena awaken somewhere in my bone structure. her mouth spits words i had forgotten i memorized, facts from the deep pockets of libraries. she revels in the way they stutter at the quickness of my tongue, whispers, here’s what it feels to be above the cities. i know demeter for the way i feel in dirt, i catch sunlight in my palms and beg people to be disgusted at girl unhaunted by pretty, my hair a mess and my legs hairy and my body thick. i’ve kissed aphrodite, i’ve met her not in lust only but in the girl who listens like she is tied to your soul. she comes out and we go dancing, unashamed of our sexuality. i have even been her, once or twice, on rare moons where the stars aligned. i know the rage of artemis. i hunt those who hurt my sisters, i slay demons, i run in night with red lips. and i am persephone, always, goddess of the spring, goddess of the pomegranate, of wanting, of riding her own horse to hades, of being two queens. when men take power from me, i hear her whispering. take it back, she says, tongue sweet, ambrosia in the blood stream, take back your city.
the gods are not dead. they live in women. they live in me.