persephone is when

by Alexa Salvato


no mother wants her daughter

sent to a sunless world


persephone is when you

hide in the corner of

your favorite 10-year-old’s

bedroom for half a year

until you feel ready to



the underworld is inside you


it won’t leave

until you feed it 6 pomegranate seeds

and curl your own inside light around

your darkness like

a cat twisting around

her frigid tail until she

warms it up again


persephone is

filling your belly with warm mint when it

feels too full

instead of emptying it out

because you need to stomach your own


even if it’s unholy

persephone is

the goddess of springtime

almost always dormant

because spring only thrives for a short time


persephone needs another’s love

a mother’s or another’s

to protect her from the enveloping darkness

a too tight serpent spiraling around

her insides


persephone rises

more consistently than

jesus christ and all the prophets

persephone has hit the bottom

so you know she can recover