The Petrified Forest
For beauty’s sins—transgressive redness, splitting ripe
upon our lips, the ink-curved lash that dared curl up
towards heaven—we could once hope to be made
monstrous: Scylla, stepping from her poisoned bath
garlanded in fangs; Lamia’s carnivorous search
for the skins, the children she once shed. But it proved
easier, more economical, to congeal rather than transmute—
to entomb the woman’s body within her blush, eternal
expanse of unbroken loveliness, welling crystalline
from the point of a hypodermic needle. Medusa’s trophied
halls no longer colonnades of stony suitors, but abandoned
girls and mannequins, all plastic, all unwanting.
Lily Beaumont is a freelance curriculum and study guide developer; she holds an MA in English and Gender Studies from Brandeis University, and currently lives in Central Texas. Her creative work has appeared in publications including Open Minds Quarterly and The Furious Gazelle.