The Anti-Muse Speaks

I’m no Helen of Troy.
I haven’t launched a single ship,
or kayak, or canoe.
			So when you put me in your poems,
			just tell it like it is.
Only—
		don’t forget how good I’ve been to you,
		how sweetly I whisper your name
			(like fresh water on a tongue prickled by seaspray, salt-swollen)
		how electric my touch
			(like jellyfish pulsing purple, their tentacles pink sprays of forked 
			lightning).
Be kind.
If you must ridicule my obsessions—
			the composers, the coal—
juxtapose them with your own.
We are alive and eccentric.
				You jar seawater
				and I write a symphony with its tones.
In my poems, I write you human.
You are strange and wonderful.
				You peer up at me through a glass-
				bottomed boat.
		In yours, please,
		let me shout your name into the water,
				my face submerged,
bubbles funneling toward you,
tiny spheres of sound.

brianna noll