Daphne

by Ellora Sutton

I could not run
so I took root, still as a housewife,
stagnant.

My eyelids went first.
Desiccated to tracing paper
to sandpaper.
You, in your gleaming arrogance, you
could never foresee this;

that my arms would age to bark,
my belly an empty whisky barrel.
The feet that failed me
trickling in sunlight, toes to
water to honey to wood.
My teeth to laurel leaves
burning green, burning poetry.

It did the trick.
You, Apollo, sliced on by
toward that distant golden seam
unable to see my new limbs,
so much stronger now than your own.

I watched you wend away.
Barbed-wire in the breeze
my teeth rattled their applause.

My heart went last,
an agate of sap and fury.

I have never been more powerful.
I have never been more myself.