Helen Tells You What You Don’t Know || Jessalyn Maguire

I know you know I was hot. The face
that launched a thousand ships––
the statue that made dozens cum
before breakfast. Blazes of men lined up to lick

the honey that dripped down the inside
of my thigh, prides of pious twats,
whose hair was braided just like mine,
     gossiped while scrubbing my stained bed sheets. 

I hatched from an egg. Born of swan
and helpless girl, daughter of God and rape.
But I know you don’t know
     that I negotiated treaties, loved

my husband, cried while eating Lucky Charms
in the bathroom pumicing my callused feet,
peed in the shower, popped other people’s zits, plucked
     the same hair so many times from my nipple 

that I gave up and let it live. Abducted twice,
many-manned, but I was the sun.
Nestled children in ten thousand wombs
along the coast, the bellies like sails

burgeoned fertile with winds that carried
my people to the end of time. My body
was hacked into a million pieces, scattered
around the empire, left to be scavenged,

yet relentless as a mother’s love
my orts took root, spread, latticed a canopy
more shading than the fist of Gaia,
    but I didn’t write my story, 

so all you’ll ever know is that I was a clit
that dripped gold and men started wars over.



Jessalyn Maguire is a writer, actor, editor, and filmmaker based in New York City. Most recently she wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film, Maggie Black (available now across digital platforms) about the dangerous and under-reported phenomena of mania in pregnancy. Jessalyn has worked as the Head of Video Content for Accenture’s Health Practice directing, producing, and editing award winning work. Currently, she is producing a feature documentary and writing her next narrative film. You can read some of her poems in The Offing, Crack the Spine, and Mortar Magazine.

Originally published in the FALL 2018 edition of the Helix.


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