When her compass of shadows points only to darkness,
a rumble slashes behind her, a torn crack of sound.
Imagine the girl, hair brushing her waist, gown hitched up
and clinging damply to her skin as she wades through
the tall wildflowers that brush her bare legs with dew.
She turns in the meadow, resplendent with reds from the low sun,
curious and afraid. She holds the purple asters and goldenrods
close to her chest, flowers that evermore will signify the end
of summer, half the end, in a way, of everything,
but she doesn't know that yet. Not quite yet. She sees the horses
first, black, green-eyed, drooling spittle, dancing in their harnesses.
They paw at the air and rock; sparks fly from their hooves.
She sees the driver next, dark, handsome, old. Then young,
a sort of trick of the light. He is already in front of her
before she thinks to bolt. He seizes her, scoops her with an arm
around her waist, just as she begins to scream. Her head falls back,
flung on her thin neck by the upward rush as the chariot spins
and turns downward again. Dangling like this, she sees
one last glimpse of the darkening meadow, the flowers
a sea of colors, the stars whirl, the moon sets precipitously
at the edge of the chasm. The Underland seethes with the dead.
Their eyes and skin glow greenish, like foxfire or fireflies,
giving the vast caverns an eerie light. Creepy. In the throne room,
Hades makes diamonds for her by crushing coal in his bare hands,
a nifty trick, but Persephone will not stop crying. When he touches her,
the flowers blacken in her hands. She calls and calls for her mother.
He offers rubies, emeralds, pork chops, polenta, chocolate. Of course,
the pomegranate stops the tears. Her mother had fed them to her
as a child, one seed at a time, but when Hades feeds her his seed,
all trace of sweetness disappears from her tongue.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
090420-1141-2a; 090419-2016 1st completed 1st draft
the fractal flame was made using Apophysis.