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Persephone In Hell

by M. Shayne Bell

Bah! Your lips taste of earth, woman. Wine-fill
My cup. Good Hell’s wine . No taste of earth
In that. Pomegranates, was it? You ate
Pomegranates as you walked down to me?
Yes, and I saw the dead press in on you
Trying to smell the leaves, the dung, the sweat
Of men. Good earth! So good the living smell
Its stinking rot and forget Hell gaping
At their feet , forget the Styx and Charon-
And you, Persephone-even you.    But
You, at least, will not forget Hell.    Hell stares
At you from every pomegranate seed.
Before you pass the gates, Cerberus
Licks the juice from your hands-voi ch’entrate.