Persephone’s Garden

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There was a shadow
innate and endless.
Lodged into the
cavern of my
heart.

I put it aside.
But still I heard it,
chanting its words
into the silence:
danger
blood
fear
.

The portal to the soul stood open.
I thought to close it.
But I could not bear
the thought of its
whispers as it died
alive.

Oh, strength – I gathered it –
Heart beating fast; I gathered it.
And stepped into the blind, wet fear.

There you stood, like you’d been waiting.
I took your hand when you offered it,
your palm upturned, benign; inviting.

I allowed you to take me,
not dragged, but willing to see
the dark, fantastic stalactites of the soul
casting strange shadows in the pale underground light.
I was intent upon learning your language;
upon learning to see your painful colors;
the twisted shape of your black heart.

I wandered in these shadows
until I forgot the flowers above; until you sent me back.
“It is not good to forget down here,”
you said.

Above the earth,
the flowers had spread themselves in pale carpet
everywhere I had wandered beneath.
I sat among them and I learned:
calm beside the thyme;
passion from the roses.

And always I could hear the slow beating
of the shadow of my heart
under
under
under
the ground at my feet:
both of us waiting for the Fall.

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