Helen Enters Troy as a Seahorse

Josie Levin


It is difficult to find your body until
after you’ve died

When we open you with one stone
we have to check

the underside twice, you are not
behind or further inside

we expect less heavenly ocean foam,
to rise out and look,

your head surprised us, shaped like
a horse but with its human lips pursed

You can understand us looking down
and anticipating a quadruped – a thing

meant to walk on its hands, to beg, to
hold the stone and drop under

that it’s difficult to believe you undid
the knot with just one leg

Surely we are not the first to rear back
assay egress from your piercing ovum

We’ve seen what comes of carrying
your line, what it is to build your tithe

Whatever you do, you do enough
leave us holding the baby



Josie Levin is a visual artist and writer whose work has appeared in several publications, including Kitchen Table Quarterly, Peatsmoke Journal, and Plainsongs Poetry Magazine.