The Girl Inside Me - Eros Salvatore

When I was a little boy, I felt a girl sleeping inside of me.

“Who are you?” I would whisper.

“I don’t know,” she would answer. “But I’m as pretty as can be. Just don’t let your mother see.”


I was born Eros to Aphrodite, a goddess I worshiped as much as she worshiped me.

A mother made of loneliness and jealousy.

As I grew older, my mother worried I’d find a girl prettier than she.

A girl who would love me for me.


That’s when I first heard about Psyche,

the most beautiful girl there ever could be.

Though even she didn’t see her temporal beauty.

Because love was all she wanted to be.


I longed for this beauty and she longed for me,

but I scared her away in every girl I could see.

For, paradoxically, my wannabe lovers were just like my mother:

a Medusa whose rage forced me to flee.

So, I cried for myself in my sleep.


Life went by in a flurry

and I sacrificed myself to the Furies.

But they only punish the wicked and guilty, not me.

So, I tortured myself like Oedipus: marrying my mother in my dreams.



At last the Fates intervened and sent me a faerie,

who illuminated the beauty I was too blind to see.

But I became as obsessed with her as my mother had been with me.

So my faerie grew frightened, and returned to the spirits of the trees.


Still I loved her, though I couldn’t love me.

For Psyche means soul, and a faerie I’d wanted to be.

But when the ego took over, the soul was forgotten.

Abusing what loved it, rendering the love rotten.


With no one to love I prayed to my mother and she said unto me:

“Go visit the Underworld and bring back a box from Persephone.”

I did as she told me,

for I had no one to hold me.

And watched as,

my half-sister Antigone took her own

my best friend from high school followed with a knife.

while my father was killed by his sorrow,

and my mother died the next morrow.


All that in the year of COVID-19, when I was in Hades and Hades was in me.

I cursed the gods and mythology until stopped by Persephone,

who gave the present most precious to me.


So I opened the box, and what did I see?

But a beauty that was the beauty in me!

For I was a girl as pretty as could be.

I was both Eros and Psyche.

The girl I had loved was the one inside me.

Eros Salvatore is a bi-gender writer and filmmaker living in Bellingham, Washington who sometimes identifies as a trans woman and sometimes not. They have been published in the journals Anti-Heroin Chic and The Blue Nib among others, and have shown two short films in festivals. They have a BA from Humboldt State University. Their work can be seen, heard and read at https://erossalvatore.com/

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