persephone

by eloisehendy

i watch her hands
as they work gripping
fruit striking
flesh against wood
&opening
digging thumb into heart
&opening

a shower of bloodred seeds
a scattering

i watch her hands pulling
jewels like teeth
&gathering
leaving shells like babes
from wombs
&gathering
memory of fullness

there are two flecks
of crimson
on her neck
perfume mist

for centuries we have been drawing
blood reaping seed
long before priests turned
bread to flesh
we have been breaking
fast
&sharing
the fruits
of our labours tearing
skin from rind

i watch her fingers
painted pink
with juice on wrists
&think
as she drops rubies
on her lips
&smiles
&pours wine
&drinks
that this is power

this is why they burnt us
this is why they made us kneel
to a virgin mother
this is why they write tales laying
blame at our feet

this is a woman taking
pleasure in her hands

this is why they try to take
our pestle
&grind
us down to dust

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