Persephone Absolves

I abandoned the party,
My uncles are too loud
My aunts too jealous

I tip-toe into the garden
Unwanted hands fading from memory
The smell of wine far behind me

The old oak sat obnoxiously
usurping the middle of the garden,
the birds screeching from his branches.

I ran from the chaos
Counting the leaves on a hyacinth
Wishing for a new song

You followed,
polite in your intrusion.

You told me that where you’re from
There is always singing

I wanted to hear
I wanted to see
I wanted to go

It’s far, you cautioned
As if to prevent me from choosing you
But I have never left these oleander walls

Their green traps me,
The vines strangle me,

This air chokes me,
The sky oppresses me.

The sun shines year-round, the constellations dance
Flowers bloom and sway in the breeze
Birds chirp

I am sick of birds.
in the spring, their chicks
fall from high nests more than rain

And I don’t want the sun—
I am so sick of its burn and its bite
I want to feel ice on my toes and see grey

But I do want flowers:
I want orchids and hyacinths,
lavender, daisies, and carnations.

You say there will be hyacinths,
amaryllis, freesia, and queen anne’s lace.
How can I trust you?

They told me about you,
about your tantrums and temper—

but the world
is so calm in your presence.

You’ve given me a crown,
made of gold and diamonds
plucked by your own hands
from the belly of your own lands

I’ll give you anything you want
You offer me this strange fruit
Six little beads, brought just for me

The fruit glistens in my palm.
Your eyes chill me,
driving me into your arms

Your hands, covered in soot,
Smudge against anything you touch.

You crown me.
The beaded fruit is bitter on my tongue.

My cheek is streaked
My heart drips coal.
♠ ♠ ♠
Based on the song Hades Pleads by Parker Millsap