Vermilion

The smoky veil of dusk is fast-falling:

And the sun, that gleaming pomegranate, is torn in two by the horizon—
gutted by its silver teeth of summits and winter sycamores
—and swallowed beneath the earth.

Persephone presses the blazing fruit to her dripping mouth,
kisses its pulsing radiance with her ravaged, luscious lips,
and tosses it aside.

Decaying, half-devoured suns litter her dreary throne:
their seeds, like tarnished rubies, spilled at her feet.
They are her sustenance until spring.

Her shadowy lover regards them with much reluctance:
red-rimmed eyes that glitter maliciously, to make him flinch.
They are relics of his guilt and greed.

And the seeds, those smoldering gems, are spat forth from the soil—
spewed from his grim-lipped mouth and flung from her tethered hands
—and bury themselves in the frozen skyfield:

stars that burn red in the moment before dawn.