The winter sky is fraught
with clouds promising spring,
something about fennel and almonds,
a vague memory
of skin stickied by dates. The soft
choke of an artichoke resting
in a hand’s still palm.
A trick of the gods underground, bored
by their own games of lust and longing,
lazy among the floating ashes
and burning lakes. Is this how Persephone
returns home, with this swollen surprise lodged
like a peach pit under the tongue,
toward the light: crystal flute gasping with thirst?
Or is it instead Hades she longs for
during the off-season? Birdsong slicing
like broken glass under bare heel
between the rape charades and fruit platters,
naked men and women
in heavy chains bearing big trays,
offering the couple bloody,
throbbing gifts next to the grapes and kiwis.
Persephone, sweatsoaked and languid, hearing
the command, moans, baby, don’t send
me up there again. Not back into
the sunlight. But, like all daughters, she goes.
Theadora Siranian is a graduate of the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has had poetry appear in Bryant Literary Review, Amethyst Arsenic, and DIAGRAM, among others. In 2012 she was selected for inclusion in the Best New Poets anthology series, and in 2013 was a finalist for The Poet’s Billow Pangaea Prize. In 2014 she was shortlisted for both the Mississippi Review Prize and Southword’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. She currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn.