Hades' Pitch
by Rita Dove from Mother Love

If I could just touch your ankle , he whispers, there
on the outside, above the bone-- leans closer,
breath of lime and peppers--I know I could
make love to you . She considers
this, secretly thrilled, though she wasn't quite
sure what he meant. He was good
with words, words that went straight to the liver.
Was she falling for him out of sheer boredom--
cooped up in this anything-but-humble dive, stone
gargoyles leering and brocade drapes licked with fire?
Her ankle burns where he described it. She sighs
just as her mother aboveground stumbles, is caught
by the dredlock--bereft in an instant--
while the Great Man drives home his desire.

Return to the House of Hades
To the Ivory Tower
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