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  Cover Issue 12 HADES


You're an old man smoking

vetch. You fetch and carry, you seed

and metal. Under the earth, there are rivers

and shade – a white mist

that clings to you like belladonna.

You sit with your hot words

at the top of the stairs. Your grave

is a deep one. The hour

hits the pit of a plum, sour and supple.

In your mouth is an iron

pill (don't let on to the others

that you're anemic). The cardinals know

where you vacation, spot my window,

and dive incantations into your muddy ingress.

(Persephone bores holes into your skull

and taps the sugar. She holds the bag

in the daylight when you're thirty, maybe forty.

It takes another hour at the top of the stairs

before the holes are as big as plum seeds

and you can't heal yourself.)




Jessica Van de Kemp, (BA, B.Ed, MA) is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Haiku for Lovers (Buttontapper Press, 2013), The Danforth Review, Vallum, Branch Magazine, The Steel Chisel, Ditch, The Fieldstone Review, Halcyon, In Parentheses, Bitterzoet Magazine, Mint Magazine, Gravel Magazine, The Studio Voice, Wilde Magazine,Cactus Heart, The Mackinac, Miracle E-Zine, and The Wayfarer. Her bonbon chapbook, Four-Coloured Memory, is forthcoming from Bitterzoet Press.

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