I had been gone days before my mother noticed.
Demeter, so busy with the exigencies of living
had not guessed I'd gone. Gone. No grip,
no valise, just my weakened determination
to find a plausible escape from Zeus, that arse.
For this reason, I do not embellish doors
deadbolted, nor thighs grazing across window sills.
All that pretense, just for show. I merely traipsed after
a thought, for if I could scramble after that thought,
any thought, my mind would not collapse in upon itself.


Begin here: let Hades off the hook. Irons fashioned
into curved points are not conducive to truth-telling.
Isn't every marriage an abduction? (Stop,
insert archaic smile.) No, I let him wear me down,
for there are so few men deserving of women
like me, epic landscapes who consider being anyone's
queen a burden, robe or no robe. Certainly, he knew
I could have survived on tea several months more.
But the world needed a silvered-veined leaf,
a yarn capable of dividing boredom into
recognizable seasons. Alas, poor Hades.
Six pomegranate seeds? Mythology's rube.


Helios swears he surveys all. Okay, he does, but why
did he decide upon such a fanciful lie: abduction? Me,
come now. Tsk, tsk. No one would be so foolish.
He had observed I only brought the most
well-behaved songbirds home, guided them carefully
through the rituals, then wrung each neck. He read
the signs: a mother desires normalcy for her daughter.
Rape, however unimaginable, proved a more suitable lie.


Dead, I watch the cardinal attack its glass image
each morning, then alight upon the day and am always
reduced to tears. This is what I miss most: dawn
in my mother's house. I should have known,
I certainly should have known. Having lain with Zeus
like a statue with dead eyes, Mama would've understood.