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Persephone, Etc.

The man with silver hooks instead of hands
picks apart a pomegranate on a park bench
as the sun malingers about the sky. It is hot
in the plaza and royal palms bring no relief.
Wicked monkeys wank among the fronds.
See him as an ex-sailor whose risky schemes
gobbled up his tender digits. It's market day
and treasure seekers haggle over odds and ends.
Wasn't it beneath this spot the son of Kronos
pursued his inamorata, holding out a handful
of shining seeds? The ex-sailor asks, Why not?
These are time's entropic diminishments.
As each person's golden age is turned to tin,
he sets another crimson morsel on his tongue.

Stephen Dobyns

New Letters

Volume 79, No. 3 & 4

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