HYPOCHONDRIA, LEAST POWERFUL OF THE GREEK GODS (I)
Hypochondria is the least powerful of the Greek gods. When confronted with this, she grows contentious, says “Define power.” She has a point. Hypochondria can’t stand the dirt under Persephone’s nails, wants to clean the pale girl’s poor skin each time she leaves hell. Hypochondria is the only goddess who is worshipped without being asked. The satyrs consider her a slut because she wears barely-there dresses drawn from river water and weeds, but she needs to see her body clearly. Who knows when a new scar or scratch may appear? Best to tend to rashes early. Hypochondria thinks Demeter is a tyrant—always teasing the people with unstable growing seasons. She can’t understand why Demeter grieves for her daughter when so much space can be given to grieving for the self. Hypochondria has never seen the color of her eyes because mirrors terrify her. When asked, Artemis said violet; Narcissus just laughed and handed her a daffodil. Around her, all the other gods drink wine with the divine freedom of the fearless. It’s as if no one worries about staining their teeth. The other gods mostly ignore her, but if she could, she would tell them, “Just name your fear like a child. Then it will listen to you when you call.”
Emily Paige Wilson’s debut chapbook I’ll Build Us a Home is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW.