Author: Jemma Hoolahan

Medusa was promiscuous.
She would flutter her eyelashes
and twirl a dark curl around
her finger tips, which later men
grabbed on to when they fucked her.
Medusa loved saying yes,
but when she said ‘no’ she wasn’t believed.
So the dark eyes which had lured men in,
made them stumble in lust,
were given the power to turn
men to stone.
The hair men loved to clutch
was turned to snakes,
ready to hiss at men when they touched
without permission.
Medusa had been promiscuous.
But when her ‘no’s were taken for ‘yes’s
she was granted a defence.

Then society called her a monster,
they hated her, feared her,
challenged “heroic men” to kill her
because now her ‘no’s had power.
She had been the victim,
forced to defend herself,
but they called her the monster,
severed her head and paraded it.
The girl who had gained better protection
than keys between her fingers,
pepper sprays or rape whistles
was deemed a monster by men
who could no longer fuck her.

And this time
Hera leaves Zeus,
leaves him angry and fuming;
but as she walks away
she smiles, flicking her hair
behind her shoulder.
And this time,
Hera does not steal away
Lamia’s children in a sudden,
passionate jealousy.
She stands by Lamia’s side
and helps raise them,
and Lamia never looks at
another child in envy.
And this time
Hera learns to love herself,
she starts to heal the bruises
which come from men
who are heavy handed
and lack respect
for those around them.
And this time
Hera teaches Leda how to be
strong again, how to hold her
head high and look the world
directly in the eye.
And this time
Hera plants flowers with Demeter
and refuses to let her previous
jealousy stand in their way.
And this time
Hera helps Persephone recover;
holds her tight in an
embrace and rocks her slowly.
And this time
Hera understands to whom her
hatred should have been towards
how her anger and her passion
was always misdirected.
And so this time
Hera put her well-practiced wrath
in the path of her ex-husband.

and eve rushed to lilith;
hands around her neck,
lost in the fire of her hair.
and eve pressed her lips to lilith’s
as though two sins could
make a right;
as red lipstick merged with blue
creating purple. the colour of
ambition, of power.
and adam looked on, shocked.
chocking on the piece of apple,
on his guilt stuck in his throat.
and in that moment it was only
lilith and eve locked in an embrace.
Damned Girls with rebellion
in their eyes.
Damned Girls smiling through
Damned girls made of dust,
made of bone,
made for each other
not for any man.