Demeter's Grief



Volume 8, Issue 06
April 21, 2023

Demeter’s Grief

When from emptiness she craved abundance,
she crawled towards bounty –
from the first ρόδι1 she was enmeshed
in the flittering ruby,
shimmering across eye and tongue.

In that pull of red juice from the swollen seeds,
ova gushing, as did those in my own core
out of which she peeled many years ago
after the smashed new beginning2 ,
her teeth dripped with a paralyzed elixir
glucose and iron, saccharine,
metallic sweetness —

in that moment body and blood intertwined, plant engulfed by animal,
endosymbiotic dawn,
Persephone was taken within,

became the underworld.

A moan trickled out of my throat
blood and its constituents clawing, jumping
from my body in heaving shudders,
like a fish before it suffocates by air.

From the heat of my absolute grief
an icy death materialized —
farewell was unbearable, so with my blood cries
I killed
cemented cessation.

That’s when my tears dropped into the soil,
fecund, with veins sprouting immediately from them
as they stretched through the earth.

And so I invented winter
the veins froze over
mycelial seizing,

righteous, righteous.

And so
the seeds cannot be pierced now,
their skins are thick with death,
and their juices sit stagnant, crystalline
the liquid that used to drip from eye to cheek,
tooth to lip to soil, now

My head’s grown old,
my veins slow.
blood lingers and my mycelia flutter.

What happens when my rivers become overrun?
Flooding, inundating,
yeast, algae, salt,
bacterial surges from upstream

my eyes close and can’t open
I stomp my feet around the frozen ground
— maybe my child can hear me down there, through them —
until the only water that flows is the
blood from my broken feet.

Ice sews my eyelids together
fullness in frozen liminality

righteous, righteous.

  1. Pronounced “ro-thee,” the Greek word for pomegranate. ↩︎
  2. Pomegranates, which represent good luck in Greek culture, are smashed outside a home’s front door on New Year’s Day to bring luck and blessings for the coming year. ↩︎

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Volume 8, Issue 06
April 21, 2023

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