Kwan Yin wore her usual Marian blue robe,
and Bastet was slimly elegant in a gold sheath,
but of course Kali stole the show
with her six arms and necklace of skulls.
The previous day, Hera, Changing Woman, and Mary
were Ellen’s guests, and she was surprised
at the frostiness between them, a competition,
as to who was the most powerful founding goddess,
as though they were enemies rather
than on the same side. Conversation was strained.
Her laughter was awkward in her own ears,
and she had better hopes for today’s guests.
They did not disappoint. Kali, especially, was on fire,
coming onstage walking like a gorilla, dragging
the knuckles of four hands. She let Ellen
wear her skulls and danced to “She Loves You.”
Kwan Yin’s soft giggling was as peaceful
as the ocean-blue dress she wore; Ellen fingered
the material and Kwan Yin told her it was moth.
Of course the cat-headed Bastet and animal-loving Ellen
hit it off, and she treated her hostess to a rare throaty purr
when Ellen asked shyly if she could rub her head.
Ellen wept, having always longed to pet a lion.
Her only faux pas was asking Kali where
she got her skulls. Wars, she said darkly.
These are the men who abuse women, animals, children, the Earth.
I have my eye on some Earth-raping
politicians as well. Kwan Yin gasped
in her compassion, but feline Bastet understood.
We are on the ascendant, Bastet said,
as the show wound down. Love is all you need,
said Kwan Yin. Goddesses rule! shouted Kali,
Pumping her six fists.
The audience went wild.
“Tomorrow’s guests will be Pele, Persephone, and Isis,”
Ellen said gleefully. Goddesses rule!
Goddesses rule! the female audience chanted.
All across the world, men trembled.
[Rebecca Bailey is currently a ranger with the National Park Service. She taught writing for more than a decade at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has published six books, most recently the poetry collection Meditation Upon the Invisible Ceremony of the Breath (Finishing Line Press). She has recently been published in SageWoman, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Arts Perspective,Canyon Legacy, and Moab Sun News, and lives in Utah and Idaho.]