Back to Issue Twenty.

body brimming with achilles’ heels




I step out of the womb-crater, out my creator,
knowing that I was made so that my mother can breastfeed
herself –

her blood weaves on me my first dress
nurses rinse with cold, black waterdrops.


Thetis, the seaweed-dress wearing
mother, saw a God between her legs the day
of Achilles’ birth. How boys forget
that a mother’s arrowhead-sized fingers
iron silk skin and confuse blood for ichor.

Vulnerable Achilles. Achilles not erect.
Achilles on his knees. Tear-salted Achilles
begs. Achilles who bit more than he could
chew and choked.


Instead of a breast, I have a heel
on my tongue. Mother is three tree-shaped shadows
away and praying for the boy to wake up
a God. And yet, the heel on my chest
is growing. What else but to accept the sentence?
What else but to pretend that each
of my Achilles’ Heels is a keyhole waiting
for its key.


Christos Kalli, born in Larnaca, Cyprus, is studying for his undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His most recent work can be found in or is forthcoming from The American Journal of Poetryminnesota review[PANK]The Los Angeles ReviewPoetry City, USAThe Maine Review, among others. He is currently polishing his chapbook manuscript titled INT. NIGHT, and reading poetry for The Adroit Journal.

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