Kristin George Bagdanov

Persephone Willing

She tired of how a warm breeze
               unsettles a mood. The pain

of ripeness, the peach always ending
               in pit. An eternity of flesh that keeps turning

to stone. Better to be the stone, to find the end
               of things before it found her. She ripped open

her mother’s landscape, the damp roots
               of hibiscus and narcissus like scalps in her fists,

the wound a perfume to Hades, who took her earth-
               heavy hands in his. They married by the Styx,

where water is free from the weight of reflection.
               In perpetual night she presses his cheek into the sharp bone
                              of her hip, his breath numbing the ache that stirs

when silver veins of ore glint like sunlight in their chamber.
               Here she can know the hollow without suffering
                              the echo’s fade, taste the fruit’s pith

and seed without breaking skin or shade. Here a soul
               can rest, having finally reached its depth.
                              In memory, pulp is just another word for pulse.

Kristin George Bagdanov is an M.F.A. student in poetry at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, where she is also a Lilly Graduate Fellow. Her poems have recently appeared in Redivider, Cutbank, 32 Poems and other magazines. You can find more of her work at