Persephone in the Underworld By Catherine Carter
Nobody says it isn't terrible, it is
terrible, being split open and feeling darkness
pour into you, it is what you think
it is, violation, none worse. But don't
you remember who he is? He's not
someone you can avoid. You can't
stay indoors, or lock him up. I married
death, and after it was all over and only
beginning, in the dark I started
to see: it's what he's like.
And he loves me, in his way: in the way
that he loves everyone, that he loves
you. Down here, you can see
yourself: part of a harem drawn together
from every living breath, from every last
desire. Even as he clenches his fingers
in my hair he's beckoning other
lovers to him; his kiss touches everywhere
at once. You think that I picked some
shining fool's narcissus, from which you
can refrain. But he's a patient lover;
he'll prolong it, wait for you
a while; he'll court you, murmur
your name through the dark hedges
at night, give you time to feel
the shiver of his hand. I know
you won't believe, up there in the bright
hours, but you're dreaming of him
too; you're promised to him too,
and all at once, tonight's the wedding night.
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