How to Become Queen of the Underworld

No little six or seven seed affair
lifted with girlish fingers and the desperation
of the starving …
That’s what your mother
strains to believe, how she still insists
on seeing you, with her glasses of pulp-free orange juice.

But you are the daughter of gardens.
So you will know a pomegranate when you see one,
and what to do. Split it with your thumbs,
daring All to watch. Dig your teeth deep
into those packed rubies whose juice
runs down your chin, between your breasts.
Crunch the seeds, smacking and slurping
and tear the white membrane too, to prove
the bitter comes with the sweet and you know it.
Laugh because there is joy. And if
a seed flies loose bend down
and eat it off the floor. That is when
the Shadows will know you for Their own,
your teeth still red, your skin still sticky, stained.

[Sarah Sadie’s poetry has appeared in magazines, journals, and anthologies. Her fourth collection, Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanescame out in spring 2015 from Five Oaks Press and a fifth book, We Are Traveling Through Dark at Tremendous Speeds, will be published in fall 2015 by LitFest Press. Find her at sarahsadiesadiesarah.tumblr.com, @sarahsadie1313, or at her desk with a fresh cup of coffee and a blank page.]

Advertisements