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Kaitlyn Bancroft

To Medusa, in Solidarity

Perhaps you too could not see the snakes when you looked in the mirror could not

Taste the venom of your mouth and skin could not

Hear the pain-bright hiss your voice had become

Perhaps you too did not know why they trembled before you why

They drew their shields and swords on you why

They called you powerful and beautiful but never wanted

Perhaps you too do not know the depths of your monstrosity why

The gods damn you to your mind why

You have scales instead of silk why

Your gaze turns men to stone

The Black Cat Next Door Shares an Ice Cream Bar With Me

A drip-drop glistens and rolls

Then suddenly lands on my pants

(Not caring that they’re new, from the thrift store)

I collect it on the tip of my finger, then —

With all the careful deference due to you—

Offer it up in hopes of your pleasure

And you —

Of the satin, blue-glazed fur and whimsical tail

Of the sweet sock feet and chest’s white starburst

Of the unfathomable, moon-bright eyes and chirp-like meows

Of the velvet purrs and whisper-soft whiskers, delicately scathing my face —

You, little empress, deign to lower your head

And extend your tiny pink tongue, sandpaper-soft on my skin

And it feels like a blessing


Kaitlyn Bancroft is a reporter with in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, she’s written for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Spectrum & Daily News (part of the USA TODAY NETWORK), The Denver Post, Deseret News, and The Davis Clipper. Her poetry has been featured on Every Writer, in Illumen Magazine and in Wingless Dreamer’s 2021 Halloween anthology, Whispers of Pumpkin. Follow her work on Twitter @katbancroft or on Instagram @katbancroftreports.


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