Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Persephone Ate the Pomegranate

No doubt she washed the dish.
It’s what women do when lost—
find something to clean,
to put in order, something
to hold and rock,
as we were rocked by our mothers
in their own sorrows.
He wouldn’t notice a clean dish,
only that she’d eaten—
a contract signed by ignorance.
It’s a thing men know:
that food, a roof, a bed,
the semblance of love,
is the price of a wife.
Who would have thought
that six ruby seeds could taste
so bitter? Sit so heavy?
The wintery accusation—
the stain of stale lust
on cold sheets—
just cold enough to freeze
an entire world.

This poem originally appeared in Heavy Bear, Issue 3.

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