Leda and the Swan
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
-William Butler Yeats
Yeats alludes to Leda's rape as a "pivotal moment in history" that sets in motion events that lead to the birth of Helen of Troy, to the trauma of Clytemnestra that leads her years later, to conspire in the murder of her husband, Agamemnon. Even after event cascades from this act of Divine lust.
And what of our own acts of lust, divine or otherwise? That I have given in to my own desires with you, seems to have set me on a path. I hope it is not destruction, not one of perdition. That would be too trite. That would make all the bible thumping villains of my past triumph without even trying. I have not struggled and fought and scratched and bit to get to my place in the sun just to be subjected to some fire and brimstone cliche.
Yet I am changed, irrevocably. I hear people singing under their breath, I see sparkles in little places I have never thought to look. I can see love between two people. How is this possible? I am a strong person, not one given to romantic impulses. Yet after being with you in that furious heat, that gentle afterglow... I am not me anymore. I afraid I have become brave enough to hazard looking for one like you. Or maybe risk looking for you again.