» Poetry

birth of venus

Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus, c. 1485.
The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, c. 1485. The Uffizi, Florence, Italy.


tidal women splay tempera  

the conch pigmented against turquoise waters 

her body sea-bound in paint and bone  

she wears herself in brush strokes 


zephyr and aura blow embryonic seawater from her shoulders 

spring’s hora rushes to mantle her newborn curves  

renaissanced she crashes borders architected  

as venetian lips she cannot speak through 


her body imaginative

almost cadaverous


she speaks around 

she gazes as she is gazed upon 

her nakedness to nudity 

 now pornographic 

 now classical 

her body tidal 


father her your words 

your chipped teeth 

your plaster-rotted frescoes 

in your marbled mausoleums 

she speaks you back  


Julia Hands

Julia Hands is a writer and editor out of Seattle. A graduate of the MFA program at Western Washington University, she now works as the editor in chief at Crab Creek Review. You can find her work currently or forthcoming in 5x5, Evansville Review, Menacing Hedge, Cream City Review, and elsewhere.