She Who Shines in the Dark

1 November 2012

What flavours did the deep dark have for you,
Eurydice, lost under the earth? What textures,
so far from the sun’s heat like a plush robe
around your fair shoulders? Did you
taste the sharp juice, the tiny pits –
the queen’s vivid red seeds
beneath your tongue?

The path back up was so rough,
and of course the dead go unshod.
The rocks scraped your heels,
dug into your dainty arches.
The memory of his song – his plea,
laced with the marriage hymn, the funeral wail –
trembled in your mind,
but with each step it grew fainter.
The light grew brighter.
He, obedient, did not turn.

The queen’s fingers are long and pale.
The queen’s hair is silken midnight.
The queen’s eyes shimmer like dark water.
The queen’s lips taste of pomegranates.

Did you catch your foot on purpose,
knock loose that one small rock to startle him
into a reflexive turn? Was it an accident,

or was it the queen’s dark glory set against
all the memories of mortal, fatal love?

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