when Leda was called to the lake,
no one stopped her.
maybe she was warned
to be cautious of the birds,
or maybe she was given a whistle
more punchline than punch,
and taught to hold keys between her terrified fingers.
but it had to be more malicious than that.
i think she spent months there
i think she was convinced into comfort,
told to become as placid as the water
not flinch when the great wings beat and
not dodge the incoming blow:
accept and muffle your dissent.
you are a woman. this is your lot.
commit to love him even when it hurts.
they call it a seduction
which is a cruel word for a fight.
regardless of warnings, of ineffectual weapons and instinct,
it’s not your fault –
it never has been –
now Agamemnon is dead,
and Troy has burned,
and we will rip the feathers from every swan we meet.