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Love, That Loosener of Limbs

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 Someone, I say, will remember us in time to come.

—Sappho, Poem 147, tr. Philip Freeman


“Oh. My God. Oh my God. That’s her! That’s—that’s the original. The original lesbian, I mean proper capitalized Lesbian. The Mother Gay. Oh, God. Oh, God, what am I even gonna say?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “Your brother Charaxos may be under the hypnotic influence of his alien mistress might be a good start.”

“Can you even imagine what was like to read her when I was fourteen?” Bill continued. “Like, finally here's a poem that isn't just some bloke whining about how a beautiful girl won’t give him sex, and it's basically sweet mother, I’m too gay to do my chores, blame Aphrodite. Like, honestly? Most relatable thing I’ve read in years.”


“God, what I wouldn’t give to hear that fragment completed.”


“But seriously, what was up with the fragment that was just ‘soda’? Like, did it mean the same thing? Or-”

“Bill, she’s staring at you.”

And she was. Like a figure out of a painting, white chiton against dark arms, hands hovering just above the strings of her lyre, fingertips gently rested on the frame. She was biting her lower lip, and the look in her eyes was one Bill knew immediately—the panicked, exhilarated look of an actual goddess is walking the earth, right here, right now, and holy mother of Zeus I think I'm into girls.

“Oh my God,” Bill said again, eyes wide. “I’m the original lesbian.”