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.