i. persephone has everything, up in her garden with the sun, where the light hits her hair just so. she’s got flowers, and friends; gets fat on pomegranate seeds. smiles with her lips, and never her teeth. she is afraid, and it saves her every time. from the snake in the garden and the deadweights on her wrists. her tears water the flowers; and her desperate laugh calls the birds to come home. and i want to live forever, i want to see it all. i want to say fuck the kingdom, fuck them all. i want to be like her. dancing in the garden; dinners with her mom. spinning and twirling and am i doing something wrong? ‘cause my skin, it looks pale and pockmarked under her light. my shaking fingertips. am i saying it wrong? am i messing up the steps as we slow-dance; pushing her away? as i whisper sweet nothings, make oaths we’ll curse someday. someday. as the dew gathers on her skin. i’ll follow her, all the way into oblivion.

ii. persephone has everything, and i am sick with jealously, laughing on my bedroom floor. she is gone, she is gone, she doesn’t need me anymore. my twisting, wretched form. my soft baby skin. she wears her beautiful dresses, and leaves behind flower petals everywhere she goes. i never look as good in them. i never hit the right notes. persephone has everything, and what’s left to give? i am a black hole, a crater, a bleeding mark against her skin. she is shining and laughing like the sun in the sky. she is chapped lips and certainty; and even in January she still smells like july. like an ache in my throat.

iii. she could destroy me, and god i’d let her try. i’d kiss her shoulder, yeah i’d bury her alive. i’d snuff out the stars so she could shine bright, i’d carry her home in my trembling arms.  i’d drive her to the city, i’d stay in these fields of knee-high grass forever just to be at her side. but persephone has everything, and i am still at home. persephone has everything; her thumb on my cheek and a tower of my bones.

Disclaimer: my knowledge of Greek mythology comes exclusively from my Percy Jackson phase in elementary school and the musical Hadestown.

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