Friday, March 1, 2013

A.E. Stallings: Persephone to Psyche


Here is our final Stallings' Psyche poem from her incredible collection Olives. The mix of conversational language and classical theme is delightful. That second stanza just eviscerates me. 

Persephone to Psyche

Come sit with me here at the bar.
Another Lethe for the bride.
You’re pregnant?  Well, of course you are!
Make that a Virgin Suicide.

Me and my man, we tried a spell,
A pharmacopeia of charms,
And yet…  When I am lonesome, well,
I rock the still-borns in my arms.

This place is dead—a real dive.
We’re past all twists, rewards and perils.
But what the hell.  We all arrive.
Here, have some pomegranate arils.

I heard an old wive’s tale above
When I was a girl with a girl’s treasure.
The story went, Soul married Love
And they conceived, and called her Pleasure.

In Anhedonia we take
Our bitters with hypnotic waters.
The dawn’s always about to break
But never does.  We dream of daughters.

Originally appeared as part of "Three Poems to Psyche" at Valpariso Poetry Review. Currently appears in OlivesTriQuarterly Books/Northwest University Press.

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