Echo to the Mountain

Melissa Strilecki

I didn’t disappear—I left him.
Some upjumped fuckboy
one of the river’s by-blows
Please. That poor girl
everyone wants to make of me
a swollen bud to pluck
Meanwhile, that fool drowns
for a glimpse of his own face!
I’ve done well for myself. My name
oft spoken. What of him?
Does anyone delight to hear his
sounded back? A girl—Can you imagine
me draped in morning dew, swirls of valley fog
clematis vines roping waist and wrist?
I am no nymph. Crone—
no man wants this body. Once, yes
but I’ve been getting myself off since B.C.E.
All those maidens at the ledge—
They’re not jumping. They’re shouting.

Melissa Strilecki has poems recently published or forthcoming in The Shore, Gordon Square Review, Faultline, and Rogue Agent. She lives in Seattle.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021