Botticelli had no hand in this scene,
though the woman’s heavenly body
had once been likened
to that of the Love goddess,
stepping on to earthly shores.
Her almost divine nakedness
was also half-hidden,
though not to save the beholder
from blindness or madness.,
but to disguise her vulnerable beauty.
Her untimely end merited no ethereal cloak
proffered by a goddess of Spring,
instead she wore a paper shroud,
torn, as her spirit had been,
ephemeral, as was her life.
No golden scallop boat
had borne her ashore,
fanned by the Zephyrs’ breath.
Her chosen shell lay cradled like a child
against her breast.
If we press our ears to its nacreous lips
we may hear her secrets,
catch the scent of lovers past,
or taste her salt tears,
as we lift it to sound her passing.
© Marilyn Brindley
Image by Francesca Woodman, provided as a creative writing prompt, by Tess at The Mag. The Birth of Venus provided by Sandro Boticelli at the Uffizi Gallery.