Sherrel McLafferty is a multi-genre writer who resides in Bowling Green, Ohio. Her work has been featured or will in a variety of publications, including but not limited to ArLiJo, Notre Dame Review, Juked, Jet Fuel Review, Sundog Lit, Salamander, Zone 3, West Trestle Review, Storm Cellar, and Poet Lore. Social media: @AwesomeSherrel on Twitter; Website: sherrelmclafferty.com
Division of Labor
My husband demands applause for washing
a dish and another, until the sink empties.
He tells me again about Zeus. How a woman
grew in his brain until her body was unbearable.
Imagine being split right down the middle,
the bone offering to break. Her name
was Athena, but I doubt he remembers.
Every boy deserves a fantasy
where he is a god, a father.
A hero who believes in good.
Outside, the neighbors’ children
slam sticks against the house,
even with the wasp nest nearby.
They’re playing. He doesn’t want to take ownership
of these strangers. I close the curtain.
The sun’s light is cut off and the kitchen
loses its sterility. A well-trotted argument
offers to play itself.
What was in his stomach? Her name
was Metis but only women remember.
Every girl marries a god
who believed in good at the time.
Imagine your body swelling like a bud,
the blood given to grow another, only
for a father to appear and consume
you both. He doesn’t look, doesn’t answer.
An army gathers outside, black and yellow
stripes the window. He doesn’t drink
but his face says he wants to.
We move to another room. I change
the subject without changing the subject.
I tell him again about the seahorse.
How the male births a thousand
miniatures of himself
and feels no attachment.
We do, but we are not animals. We are.
Not from the sea, but we are.
Stings. Small voices scream for parents
who have never been in the back yard
while we argue over who is deserving of hurt.