Hephaestus and Aphrodite
by Aretha Lemon

Anger hurled me from heaven,
the crack of my spine,
my first glimpse of her.

She rose from the sea, foam clinging
to olive skin, and her smile gleamed
like sun on a dagger. My heart beat
after it stopped.

Gentle wind blew her to shore,
shells dripping from her hair.
Eels circled in dark waters,
dancing with nymphs in her praise.

The world set her on a pedestal
of gold, gave flowers and feasts
and prayers and offerings and devotion.
She smiled, accepted their everything,
yet still searched
for greater gifts.

The King of Storms gave her to me,
a reward and repentance
I could only strive to deserve.

I gave my billows and my forge,
gave my craft and my world,
but kept my whispers.

My works shone brighter than all of Earth,
brighter than the Warrior’s armor:
pearls of mourning dipped in red.

Wind tore away Spring, until only tears,
blood, greed, desperation, lust
were left.
My fires burned hotter.
I held out scorched hands.
She smiled

and went to Ares’ arms.

IMAGE: “Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite of Cnidos in a Landscape” by Salvador Dali (1981).

Aretha Lemon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aretha Lemon lives in small-town Ohio, USA, and is a Creative Writing graduate from Bowling Green State University, just beginning the hard life as a writer. Her fascination with mythology of all kinds is rivaled only her love of dragons.