Cassandra de Alba

 

PERSEPHONE IN AMHERST

I don’t remember which one of us
brought the pomegranate home,
but we sat on the dirty carpet
with the thing in quarters,
our fingers reddening, selecting
the best seeds. I don’t remember
if the TV was on, but I bet it was,
and the E! channel—the year
we saw too many infomercials,
the year we spent on the floor
because the couch just slid
us there anyway. I don’t remember
if we ate the pomegranate
instead of going to a class called Woman
and Poet, but we were always skipping
that class because we were women,
and we were poets, and Queen Elizabeth I
wrote terrible sonnets. Instead, we’d sprawl
on the floor, smoke pot, eat a pomegranate,
watch on TV as some celebrity’s friends
fabricated an origin story
much neater than the truth.

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