the sun, the moon

 

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leto's prologue

their birth is a mistake

 

for the deity / for the woman / for leto the titan

 

she dreamt of carrying a child

to nurture and support them

to watch them grow

slowly but surely

 

how fortunate for her to finally be with child

she touches her swollen belly

appeased and joyful

but all good things must end; and they do

 

—everything tumbles down

like the rotted apples from a poisoned tree

when she remembers the father of her children

and how his negligence will lead her to despair

 

their birth is a mistake

 

leto was not even zeus' first choice.

 

asteria, her beautiful sister;

the first in zeus' heart,

so proud and so fierce,

who would rather die than lay with him

 

now asteria is gone, lost to the sea... so zeus turns to leto.

 

their birth is a mistake

 

leto has constellations in her eyes,

bright and lovely like the celestial skies above.

she has known this since her infancy,

her eyes would garner attention from near and far 

 

zeus is drawn to her gaze

he spends nary one moment looking

but it is enough

and she knows that he is already entranced

 

he takes her as his bride that day, into his bed the next.

 

their birth is a mistake

 

hera is not happy. leto does not expect her to be. but her expression of anger is like fangs piercing skin

 

poor hera; a monogamous wife

with a polygamous husband

she suffers beneath his unfaithfulness

but she loves olympus far too much to leave him.

 

so she takes her anger out on his conquests—as though the problem isn't him and always will be.

 

eyes alight with fire and flame, hera tells leto, "you will never give birth so long as I am able to prevent it."

 

leto knows this to be true

because hera is the queen of all queens

the goddess of all goddesses,

she is nothing if not divine

 

she will follow through on her promise

like hell frozen over.

 

leto knows this but still, she wants to try.

 

their birth is a mistake

 

she walks for ages, from island to island

seeking refuge for a moment of reprieve

yet each city turns her away,

 

they cannot invoke the wrath of lady hera

whose power is vast and petrifying

 

her legs ache and her body is wary

but still she travels onward

she will give birth to these children

hera will see that she too is thunder in a mighty storm

 

at last, she finds sanctuary. 

 

delos, it is called.

it is not attached to ocean ground,

it is not dry land.

hera cannot chase her from here.

 

she sits beneath a tree as the first scream of anguish pierces the air.

 

the children are coming.

 

leto is all alone on an empty island but still, she delivers her twins

 

their birth is a mistake

 

a girl is born first.

 

she springs from the womb

strong, powerful, fierce

a warrior lying in wait

she is a drop of silver starlight; a hidden gem of the moon

 

unlike leto, who's life is shaped by zeus' will

she will never need a man to guide her

 

so leto names her accordingly

artemis—unharmed

 

her daughter helps her to deliver her next child

she holds her hand and whispers words of comfort

 

a boy is born last.

 

he springs from the womb

radiant, lithe, beautiful

a poet without a quill

he is a sunbeam at the break of dawn; a child of light

 

but he is not the same as his sister.

where artemis damages, he will eradicate

 

so leto names him accordingly

apollo—to destroy.

 

leto holds her children close to her

they rest their heads upon her bosom

they will not be like their father,

chasing self-interest, hurting others,

razing loyalty to the ground

 

apollo and artemis are two of a pair. 

never one without the other

two sides of the same coin

 

leto will rest easy now

 

their birth is not a mistake

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☼ the artist

apollo lives every day like his last

 

with his lyre, he creates symphonies;

he brings tears to the eyes of those

desperate for the sounds of a god

 

with his ink, he composes poems;

so wretched and beautiful,

a gift to all that will partake

 

with his prophecies, he tells truth;

the maxims of a mortal pale

in comparison to that of a divinity

 

with his hands, he heals the weary;

yet in the same breath, will take it all

and replace it with suffering

 

with his sunlight, he brightens the days;

his godhood is radiant

like the ichor flowing in his veins

 

apollo creates and creates because he is afraid

he fears that he will disappear one day

with nary a penny to his name

because he cannot be like artemis

 

artemis, who urges onwards,

forever in search of ardor and adventure,

who carves a name for herself,

regardless of who will protest

 

be it through his music,

his words, his prophecies,

his medicine, his sunshine,

apollo is a creator

 

he will be a legend of his own design

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☾ the huntress

artemis cannot understand her brother

 

she loves apollo with all her heart

but it becomes apparent to her

that he is a fool with no sense

 

apollo is in love with falling in love

he is a hopeless romantic,

led astray by the wiles of his soul

 

he would have his heart shattered,

time and time again,

if only to feel it beat once

 

artemis is different

she values self-preservation

she desires her wings untouched,

to be at liberty to do what she pleases

 

because freedom is like that;

freedom is serenity & peace

untethered to the ground

it is loyalty to one's heart,

 

freedom is anything and it is everything.

 

perhaps artemis can understand her brother

 

she would destroy herself

for the chance to be free

just as apollo would destroy himself

for the chance to be loved

 

—perhaps they are not too different after all

 

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☾ sisterhood

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niobe — an interlude

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☼ cassandra

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☾ actaeon

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☼ hyacinth

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zeus' epilogue

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~

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