Persephone’s Ambivalence

A cup of coffee and a clementine.

In the 19th Century, fresh fruit was known to be a treatment for melancholy. I think this explains my odd habit of sniffing citrus rinds. I press them to my nose and inhale deeply. Over and over. Sometimes I forget myself and do it in public.

In the teacher’s lounge at school, for example.

I also salt my coffee. No one has ever remarked on either. I am convinced we are only seen when we are unconcerned with being seen. And I wish that I meant that in the sense that we don’t care if we’re seen — but, no. When we forget to care. When we are vulnerably ourselves. I think then our behavior is so strangely familiar, (and thus) so painfully perplexing at no one dares to inquire: what’s up with you? Because they know there’s a real answer there that no one is prepared to hear.

Nok med sitt. (Their own shit to deal with.) And that’s okay. Sometimes we can find comfort in parallel play.

It’s the last day of February.

The sky still glows now past seven in the evening. A few impatient primroses are up, and there are bird calls I haven’t heard since fall. We sputter towards the summer. A day of snow, a day of hail, a day of blue-blue sky, and a south-westerly wind. Snow again. E. is pulling up the cobblestones in the drive, filling in the hollows with sand, and laying them again. Between the weather systems.

Walking Leonard I have an eye out for the lapwing’s return. I listen for the squeeze-toy call. I thought I heard it last night, but E. said I was mistaken. Anticipation, uncertainty. And the funny thing is, I have no idea why it matters to me. I grip onto this though — the lapwing — like gripping onto a handrail to hoist myself up the next step when I am too tired to just let my body move of its own will. Somewhere in me outside of logic, it means something.

About all I know of the lapwing is that it nests in the fields and is vulnerable to the tractors that drive through them.

If winter’s darkness is difficult, spring’s prodding and unpredictability are a trial to endure. Nothing returning from the dead comes back easily. The rearranging of matter causes morning sickness.

Persephone comes
& spring, her colicky infant
cannot fix his gaze
on the world – sleeps & shudders
– no idea what lies in store

Comments: