The Gorgons

juliette givhan


One time at a Dennys in Las Vegas

a man stole my sister’s purse,

snatched it from the booth beside her,

and ran.


They ran after him—

one a princess,

cotton candy hair & colored contacts,

the other an asthmatic Pitbull

in a snapback— 

& beat the absolute shit out of the dude.


When they caught up to him

one fell, scraping grit into her knees,

while the other acted like she came

straight out a World Star video—

fists falling into him

even as the car pulled away

& the purse rained down items

like confetti.


When I found out I asked them

the same question

our mom & the cops had:


Why didn’t you just let go? 


They were angry. Affronted.


Why would we?


That’s the main difference, I think,

between the two gorgons

who are immortal

& the one who isn’t:


the one who is choked

by her vast possibility,

might never know how to seize it.





Juliette Givhan is a Black poet who writes about myths and memes. Her work appears in ANMLY Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, Two Hawks Quarterly, with forthcoming poems in Pidgeonholes Magazine and baest Journal.