Tender is the North
By Sheila Templeton


Persephone's Version

I opened my mouth for them, the ruby squeak
against my tongue, teeth crunching fast and hard
so he had to watch his fingers, big hands
feeding me, holding them like jewels
shining on his dark skin.
I knew exactly
what I was doing, Mother.
Seven pomegranate seeds.
Three moons then I'd have with him
while your land died and shrivelled,
white chrysanthemums of snow whirling
at your door.
Samhain fires are dead now,
the cattle bones ash for your sleeping soil;
while he and I lie eating light,
our dark flame leaping
like those bone-fires of slaughtered beasts.
I taste them still. These cold seeds red like flesh.


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