You are Persephone. There are flowers inside your browned skin, there is life inside your stomach. Pollen dusts itself across your ribcage and the sepals of the blooms bursting from your rot-thickened veins. You smell like decomposition; you smell like wet earth and crumbled tree stumps soaked with trembling rain. You smell like sunshine, like dirt. Freckles spatter your face like a fine mist of blood. Daughter of agriculture and order. Daughter of electricity. Of storms. Rows of wheat lined up for impartial scythes tangled with bright cataracts of lightning shaped like the cracks between the plates of bark on pine trees.
What do you hunger for?
Death to fuel your life. Souls dripping with fat and muddy water to suck dry, moldering compost to plant your seeds in. Bones rich with marrow to crack into delicious dust. Restore the order; not for your mother. Not for anyone. Your order is different; it is balance. It is the mistletoe that leeches the life from the trees; the fungi that grows atop the carcasses of fallen men. What are they? Meat. Food. Raw compounds; elements, atoms. Nothing. The pale heads of sprouts that worm through the shells of their seeds into the air.
You could endure. Lock yourself in rock and shadows, not touch the humming sun or taste the grit of mulch in your teeth. Do gods eat?
You are eternal. Life swells in your chest and in your legs. It spills from your eyes, leaks from your pores. You take the pomegranate and crack it. Listen to its flesh squeal as you rend it to halves. Six seeds inside.
Pitiful. Pitiful. The fruits of the Underworld are full of fibrous white nothingness, mealy and bitter in your mouth. No beauty. No blood. No color deep like wine or the bottom of Tartarus. Burning. You are disappointed. All this death gone to waste.
Eat the seeds as he watches. You walk down Gaea’s slumbering body with the Underworld heavy in your intestines. Your eyes are the color of pomegranate juice. Your cheeks are stained red. You call him back to you; he breaks the earth in two to bring you home. You like this. You like him. You let your mother see.
Thanatos flies for you. His teeth are white and gleaming and his melanized skin is pulled taught over bones and thick cords of muscle. Feet fleet and wings black as tar. Charge him with your feeding. This world, that underreality, that which supports it. It needs a queen; you have been a daughter for too long.
You are a mother now.
Ruler over death and the life that pours forth from it. Does the king keep you at his side, or do you keep him at yours? Your mother rages for you, defies her own lover, defies her own laws. The war she makes hurls life into your new world, spirits slipping through your gates holding onto Hermes’ ankles. All this to you.
All this for you.
you are persephone and you are victorious,