“Stone Cold” by Lynne Sargent

She tells the boys that snakes live between her thighs.

that hers are bigger
than any they might brandish.
that hers will bite
should they come too close.

She tells the boys that her moon blood is their venom.

that it is like acid
and will make them burn
and writhe if they dare
to touch her.

They say her mother is a monster, for telling her such things.

her mother says they may laugh now,
but the first look her father
took of her that way turned him to stone
and if they try the same they will wish to be
so lucky.

Truancy 7, January 2020

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Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and is currently working on her Ph.D in Applied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. She has been published in venues such as Strange Horizons, Twisted Moon Magazine, and Wild Musette, and was a 2018 Rhysling and 2018 Aurora Award Nominee. If you want to find out more, reach out to her on Twitter @SamLynneS.

Lynne says: “A rumination on the upsides to being a Gorgon given trends of sexual assault.”