While the crowds of gods at Jupiter’s feet
permitted the flood that would eradicate humanity,
while they played their parts by giving silent consent,
I realized that I have committed the same betrayal.
I let my hair be pulled back, my scalp rising with roots
nudged towards the surface, and when I choose not to protest
it’s as if I was agreeing that I came from his rib—
it’s as if I was giving him permission to repeat this
with whatever women he’ll find after I leave.
I can’t stand to hear my name in the wrong man’s mouth
but I have to admit that I used to let them speak it anyway.
I have to admit to being the cruelest person on this page.
Not one god said no to Jupiter and Eve never asked
if the rib was a lie. I didn’t ask myself if I actually liked men
until I had already known a few of them.
Kyle Ross’s poetry can be found in the undergraduate journal Collision.