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EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Taylor Graham

Photograph by Christopher Fleming
Photograph by Christopher Fleming

by Taylor Graham

It was Poseidon looking across the waves
and Aphrodite from her temple on the cliff,

and you on the deck of your 65-footer
wrestling with the mainsail

while your opponent, body trim
as the butterfly
genoa she hoisted, heeled across your bow
making for a notch between islands,

too lithe and
slim for your muscled
You sailed around the long way.

And she, cutting through the narrows, won.

So the ocean god saluted
the goddess of love with green brine
in his goblet, raising it

to her white temple with its headless
maidens chiseled from stone.

And the lovely adversary of your youth-
full races –

how brief her passage
through the straits, and how dim-shining
the distant shore she reached
years before you.

Taylor Graham

In addition to Rattlesnake Review and Medusa's Kitchen, Taylor Graham’s poems have appeared in America, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. Ms. Graham is included in the anthology, California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present, and her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize.

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