Jupiter and Io1.

She is pulled between desires:
escape or adhere.

The firebrand of four
circling captives,

she coughs up rage
in arcs of magma and sulfur,

red like that
flamboyant mark

on her abductor’s cheek.


An unyielding grip
has formed her face,

this bauble the titan holds
closest to his chest.

Blazing from the inside
out, she bestows a stinging kiss.


Ladies: heat is not an enemy
nor is transformation

the bragging right of gods.
One day, you may find you wear

a cow's body as you swim
an ocean, flee a vengeful wife.

But look. No impact craters
mar the surface of this plastic moon.

Rebellion keeps you looking young.

Copyright © 2010, Melissa Frederick

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Melissa Frederick teaches creative writing and literature in the MFA program at Rosemont College.  Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, The Cream City Review, Kalliope, and the Mid-American Review.  Her poetry chapbook, She, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008.  She currently lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania with her husband, David, and son, Ian.