She tired of how a warm breeze
unsettles a mood. The pain
of ripeness, the peach always ending
in pit. An eternity of flesh that keeps turning
to stone. Better to be the stone, to find the end
of things before it found her. She ripped open
her mother’s landscape, the damp roots
of hibiscus and narcissus like scalps in her fists,
the wound a perfume to Hades, who took her earth-
heavy hands in his. They married by the Styx,
where water is free from the weight of reflection.
In perpetual night she presses his cheek into the sharp bone
of her hip, his breath numbing the ache that stirs
when silver veins of ore glint like sunlight in their chamber.
Here she can know the hollow without suffering
the echo’s fade, taste the fruit’s pith
and seed without breaking skin or shade. Here a soul
can rest, having finally reached its depth.
In memory, pulp is just another word for pulse.”
— Kristin George Bagdanov, from 32 Poems
(Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2013)