Calliope sings: Persephone's fate
It's too late to question the logic
of curses, to second guess why some birds
deserve hyperlinks while others
fly just enough to see the bodies
in the back yard from the air.
By the time I was done counting the marbles
in the huge jar at Bickford’s,
my entire family had died.
They didn’t even give me the job.
They made me marry a goat
& plait his hair with bluets
& glass beads all the long
winter & in the summer I work
in a catheter factory to pay off
my student loans.
My mother wept
when I told her
I thought it was a rabbit
& not a duck.
This is a cautionary tale;
don’t count your chickens
because you don’t have any chickens.
Calliope sings: Arethusa’s story
Far above us, there's a woman
in an invisible jet, & the best she can do
to help us is conjure an obscuring
mist. I wish there was a greater
defense than concealment. Along
the riverbank, there are two sets of footprints,
& one of them belongs to God
who keeps asking for change.
What kind of superpower
is turning into water, anyway?
Can’t even have a drink
when the ocean’s all around you,
salty & vast. I identify
as an island in the stream
Calliope sings: Triptolemus. The Fate of the Pierides
I can’t tell if this bit about seeds
& untilled soil is metaphorical or not. For real,
I feel like this translation is akin
to playing Candy Land with only half of the pieces,
the box held together w/ masking tape.
When you get sent back to the beginning,
you have to stare into your reflection & whisper,
Okay boomer three times in rapid succession.
This will be the sin for which you will be
transformed into a Flu Bird or one of those
drinking ones that keeps bobbing up
& down until the colored water in the bulb
of its ass evaporates.
When the storm cleared & at last
the dove alit on the prow
of our lonely ark:
the dove had the plague.