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Persephone’s memories [poem] 

you come back to me with the first snowfall
cold and biting
my soul recognizes the need
for all the death you trail behind you
but I must’ve drank deeply of the river Lethe
because I feel like
this is the first time I’ve found you
all over again
like we haven’t harvested the fruits of love before
I call you Hades as a joke
but your smile is sad
I don’t understand why your smile is sad
but you offer me your hand
tell me I’m all yours
tell me I’m so fucking beautiful
so ripe for the picking
I remember being consumed by you
just as the first bite tears into my tender flesh
your fingers leaving behind dots of decay
until I’m nothing
swallowed by the hard soil and carrion beetles
maybe next time I’ll remember dying for you
maybe next time I’ll turn back before it’s too late

-poem by Larissa Lee
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rest in peace [poem]

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as memorial day arrived again
I found myself thinking about a shrine
for those who’ve passed
the soldiers who served my country
with everything they had
and at first
I thought it’d be easy
call in the Valkyries
to help those warriors make it to Valhalla
like they deserve
but then my mind grew discomforted
because the ones that came home too broken to keep going
the ones lost to suicide and drug abuse
they’re still warriors
still heroes
but I don’t think they’d be welcomed in Valhalla
their weaknesses too big
their deaths too empty of honor or glory
it’s not fair
and I could never
honor those who’ve died in the heat of battle
without remembering those who died to its after effects
those who couldn’t free themselves from the claws
of violence and bloodshed
long enough to return to normal life
I couldn’t dishonor their sacrifice like that
so I had to scrap that plan
shrugged my shoulders and let go of the idea
of Valkyries watching over my altar space
instead
I’ll stick to Persephone
sweet spring maiden turned queen of the dead
she would be fair
would weigh souls for all their years
not just their final moments
I can pray to her
on behalf of those who’ve served my country
and know she’d be able to help them all
not just the soldiers killed in action
but the lost souls who we failed to bring back in one piece
she could help them all find rest
in peace

-poem by Larissa Lee
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Persephone girl [poem]

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I’m a Persephone girl
half spring maiden
half goddess of death
on long walks through the woods
I like to smell wildflowers and collect old bones
I’m always between
always half out of step with normal life
like I ate too many pomegranate seeds
and I don’t get to be normal until the hot season
the time when I bitch and moan and melt
with everybody else
I like being a shadow chaser
my heart held safe in the cool hands of Death
His darkness my shelter from too much living
depression’s mine too
here to remind me that each breath is a gift
I’ve chosen not to return unopened
and yet
my laughter is infectious and frequent
bubbling like youth’s spring from my lips
because this too is my life
eternally adorable
the smile of spring’s first blooms
and a promise of future fruits

-poem by Larissa Lee
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Persephone [poem]

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I walk in the crisp, cool air of spring
and everything is budding green. It’s beautiful
and bittersweet. Love is
buried under the thawing earth and
fresh-grown grass, just barely
out of reach.

Mother doesn’t understand. She never has,
really. I’ve always been an odd child,
an unexpected hybrid of dandelion fluff and
pomegranate seed. I know she looks at me and
sees a stranger in place of her own blood.

What did she expect? I danced over Death
as the harvest remains rottened in their fields
every autumn. I reveled in the end of the cycle
as well as Life’s beginning. I touched the dryads and
ignored their cries, watched as their leaves
turned color, wilting and falling
to the ground,
a gorgeous ending.

He was everything I ached for. His hands
rough and heavy with the weight of
bringing souls to harvest. Death
never tasted so sweet as his kiss, and I
was gladly lost to his touch.
He knew the ripeness of my
womanhood and
ate it whole.

He made me a queen. Do you know
how intoxicating it is to
hold a soul in your palm, to
weigh its worth? A man’s life is
infinitesimal against the measure of
the entire cosmos. And yet
the soul’s my king has in his keeping
are rubies and emeralds and diamonds and gold
and all of the precious things mankind
tries to collect in vain. He holds the power of

Death

in his hands. No one is immune,
not even Mother. Let her try to keep me here
amongst the mindless nymphs and
their dancing forms. Let her try to make me drink
of Lethe, to forget his teeth
on my neck.

We are the embodiment of Life and
Death, the divine cycle. We are a forever thing
that even the gods must bow before
and nothing,
nothing
will keep me from my love.

– poem by Larissa Lee