Pomegranates and Ashes

You wander, the gray-cool light of Hades soothing and serious
This place your prison and yet your jailor demands nothing of you
Not when you first came and not now, four cycles in
He smiled at you when you returned from the upper world
Then went back to ruling the dead

As shades and your husband’s minions wander out
You enter the throne room and stop, surveying this man
Who braved your mother’s fury to have you
There’s a new seat next to his throne, clearly for a queen
You haven’t chosen to sit in it although it’s exquisite

He doesn’t look up, only says gently, “I had it made for you”
His voice is soft and husky and you like the sound of it
You missed it this time, in the sunlit lands
You sit beside him, the chair seeming to melt around you
But it lets you back up just as easily

“I’m happy you’re home, beloved.” Still he doesn’t look at you
“Show me how happy,” you say, as you slip your hand over the arms
Of your thrones and into his lap
He’s blooming for you, the same as your plants ever did
Only they never made you feel so powerful

“I like my new throne, but I would prefer another.”
You slip from your chair and onto his lap, straddling,
Tipping his chin up so he has to look at you
“How can I be your beloved when you’ve never kissed me?”
He remedies that at once

You kissed your maidens when curiosity called
But your mother kept you free of anyone
Who might have taught you love
So you’ll learn this lesson here, from Hades’ tender mouth:
Desire is potent and astonishing and so beautiful

Even in the half-light of eternity

[Gerri Leen lives in Northern Virginia and originally hails from Seattle.  She has stories and poems published or accepted in: Escape PodGrimdarkSpellboundSword and Sorceress XXIIISpinetinglersShe Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror and others.  She edited the anthology, A Quiet Shelter There, which will benefit homeless animals, from Hadley Rille Books.  See more at http://www.gerrileen.com.]