Issue No. 7, Winter 2013

The Fall of Ithaca
Jennifer Lynn Krohn

Nothing is left—
the bodies carried out,

the floors mopped,
the servants hanged.

All that remains
is an absence

and a man tanned by the sea,
gray in his beard.

After twenty years, Penelope
recognizes her husband.

Still she steps back.
Penelope—in youth ignored—

is praised for her patience,
her fidelity. Her image—

fingers knotting and unknotting
thread—is held in contrast

to her prettier cousin.
Both women besieged.

What she loved most
in Odysseus

was his absence.
As he tallied the dead,

she counted the spring lambs.
As he lay in supernatural embrace,

she enjoyed the luxury
of an empty bed.

The toes of Penelope’s servants
dance on the breeze.

Staring at her prodigal husband—
her small kingdom lost.


Jennifer Lynn Krohn was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she currently lives with her husband. She earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico, and she currently teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Jennifer has published work in The Saranac Review, Río Grande Review, RED OCHRE LiT, Prick of the Spindle, In the Garden of the Crow, Versus Literary Journal, and Gingerbread Literary Magazine.