• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Clifton, “leda 1," "leda 2," and "leda 3”

Page history last edited by Tonya Howe 13 years, 11 months ago

By Lucille Clifton

first published in The Book of Light, Copper Canyon Press (1993)


leda 1

there is nothing luminous

about this.

they took my children.

i live alone in the backside

of the village.

my mother moved

to another town. my father

follows me around the well,

his thick lips slavering,

and at night my dreams are full

of the cursing of me

fucking god fucking me.


leda 2

a note on visitations

sometimes another star chooses.

the ones coming in from the east

are dagger-fingered men,

princes of no known kingdom.

the animals are raised up in their stalls

battering the stable door.

sometimes it all goes badly;

the inn is strewn with feathers,

the old husband suspicious,

and the fur between her thights

is the only shining thing.


leda 3

a personal note (re: visitations)

always pyrotechnics;

stars spinning into phalluses

of light, serpents promising

sweetness, their forked tongues

thick and erect, patriarchs of bird

exposing themselves in the air.

this skin is sick with loneliness.

You want what a man wants,

next time come as a man

or don't come.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.