August 28, 2019

Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper

Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper
Even Aphrodite Has Lazy Days 
I apologize for the days 
I don’t wear make-up 
or dress in tight gowns, 
and for the days I don’t try 
to seduce a man to feel worthy. 
I used to bathe myself 
in lavender to attract men. 
Right now, I’m tired and alone. 
My confidence wilts 
when I don’t plaster my face 
with a glow brighter than the sun. 
Today, I’m lying beneath blankets 
in nothing but sweats and skin. 
My hair is tied into a bun, 
purple scoops under my eyes. 
I wish a man could see that 
even without my highlight 
I’m still beautiful. 
Most days, I may appear  
like the pink sunsets 
pouring into violet streams. 
But beneath the gloss and glow 
and goddess sheen, 
I'm just a woman, a person. 
Someone who is more than vanity. 
And with my face bare, 
I hope my soul can finally shine, 
lilac light blooming freely through 
my skin after all this time.  

Citrus Grief 
Rows of oranges 
make a masterpiece 
in the grocery aisle. 
When I smell citrus  
I think of her, 
eating juicy slices 
before her next concert. 
I didn’t think 
I would love fruit 
so much  
until she died. 
I grab an orange, 
feel its little dimples, 
the softness beneath 
its hard shell. 
Who knew something 
so small 
could be so vibrant. 
A whole soul enclosed  
in a wholesome orange from 
the market downtown. 
If only she was here, 
sucking on citrus slices, 
and I wasn’t staring 
at a piece of fruit. 
But I buy the orange, 
hold it in the palm  
of my hand because 
I can’t hold her. 


Madison Culpepper is a sophomore at Northwestern Community College. She currently lives in Farmington, Connecticut. She studied creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and continues to write while planning her future. Madison is set to be published for Voice of Eve in October. She won two silver keys and one gold key in the Scholastic Writing Awards and hopes to publish a poetry book someday.


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