Featured Poem


Steve Brisendine

THE BOATMAN AND THE QUEEN

-for Shawn Pavey


Charon has an Evinrude, bought

with the mouth-money of who knows

how many thousands of years' worth

of one-way passengers;


beats pole-work all to Acheron,

he says, and he still has enough coin

left over to swing the gas.


Sometimes, and don't tell Hades

this, Charon takes Persephone out

water-skiing on the Styx, way down

where the river runs still, dark, deep;


her hair flies free, like long grass

in a May breeze almost full-grown

into summer storm-bluster.


After, they drift at anchor, watching

his lantern glint off stalactites; she

tells him stories of rosebuds, of

new shoots on old grapevines.


He drops her off, kisses her forehead,

breathes in and holds the only scent of

pomegranate he will ever know.