Lord, you can’t                text heyyy at 3 a.m.
seduce me                      show me your body
with dark promises —      say we’re exclusive …
such power over life        after one week of messages
and death; I’ve known    gods like you just want
the turn of the seasons   a natural rotation
since I tasted                 of Mucha’s girls
Demeter’s cereal            honeyed bunches
bowl breasts, swaddled   baby, don’t lie
in creamy blankets         I’ve seen it all
New World                     since adolescence, grown-up-like
wheat, rocked                out at the record store;
to sleep on her               she’s deciduous
perennial waves             like me.

Pumpkin,                      fasolaki mou
you may be                  my mother called me
rich, with cornucopias    no pet names
of your own                  don’t tell me
now spring’s come        your needs are
early. My skin’s all         sweet peas
sprouts:                       true
green                           you might see
shoots and                   someone else
leaves, ready                run
as bees’ wings              away with you.

Finches live and            take time to
die to tweet                  yourself,
mantinades on              grandiosity
my subterranean           shrinking
shoulders. Flightless      without praise,
shades sing                  not long
in the fading                 before
yellow light:                 you open the app to
reflected                      profile photos
buttercups beneath       your greedy fingertips and
this diminished face.

I need                          you need to get it
to breathe, to hear        the message
my voice again             ignore U up?
in the sun, outside of     midnight
your bottomless-pit       insecurities
judgments, suffocating  egotistical
hells. I’ve gone             want
to see                          lonely
Mother. There’s            choked crying
not much left               for you to drink
in the fridge:               from the river Lethe
wilted mint,                 choose to forget
expired                       lifetimes, you’ve never lived on
pomegranate juice.

[Mariel Herbert’s speculative poems have appeared in Eye to the Telescope, Liminality, and Star*Line, among others. She lives in Northern California with her family, one high-maintenance dog, and many low-maintenance books. Mariel also runs a few science fiction and fantasy reading groups, and she can be found online at]