Volume 5 Number 2


Spring 2007

The Birth of Venus

by N. C. Whitehead

the rising shell
woke her with a start

as she choked on
a mouthful of hair,

the dark comfort
was prised open

by cherubim with
perverse smiles

who let the morning light
burn her eyes—

she slipped slightly
when she stood

and tried desperately
to cover herself

as men grinned at her
from the shore—

salt water from her head
mingled with tears—

she was afraid to again
be a virgin