Artemis and Vaginismus*
Oh Mother Leto, Father Zeus,
at last you’ll know my truth.
It was no joke.
It was not my choice.
I never did ask to be a hunted prey,
impossible to love,
immune to rape,
as legend declares so confidently
that even your immortal memories
were deceived into believing.
My precious moonflower was not afraid to bloom.
It was unconscious,
it was stuck.
And so was I,
sentenced to childhood forever,
beneath my restless moonlight.
I pleaded for help,
but you could not conceive of my pain
as easily as you conceived me
in an accidental moment of perilous passion.
As your unwarranted progeny,
I was punished by Queen Hera
with an everlasting, disordered virginity.
But I broke her spell.
I traveled alone in my chariot
over obstacles unknown and for hours too exhaustive to recall,
to a chamber of torture and torturous recovery,
where Aphrodite gently and firmly
helped conquer my fate.
Now you’ll watch in shock
as I pronounce to others,
struggling in the thick, nocturnal forests,
that they, too, can be free of the moon’s chaste confinement.
And although I’ve escaped from my title of innocence,
my power to guide has become stronger.
I shed fresh moonlight on the alone and misunderstood,
as you never could.
For just as I was not what I seemed,
you are not omniscient gods.
Vaginismus is a curable physical, mental, and emotional disorder in women, in which penetration is painful or impossible.
By E.F., April 2000