Writing practice 7/19/2018 – Persephone

Write about Persephone…

She is a demi-god, born of a human woman, impregnated by a god, lived in Greece three thousand years ago, and she is the one who stands at the cliff’s edge and calls thunderstorms across the ocean. She raises an arm, a silky, milk-white arm to the heavens and the heavens bow down in service, they come fleeing from where they were at her beck and call, and they pour themselves out upon the lands in deference to her beauty, her power, her status as more-than-woman, they acknowledge her and fight amongst themselves to prove their devotion to her, their master, their guide, their wise, just, perfect leader.

She is Persephone, a racehorse, three years old and in the prime of her career, barreling down the track, full-bore, all-out, nonstop, and she is behind but she feels the crack of the whip and knows there is another step, she is covered in sweat and dust from the track and flying clods kick up into her teeth and she tastes them as she pulls abreast of the leader, her rider feels good atop her back, a part of her, a unanimity of purpose and desire, they push forward lean forward as one, as one being, a symbiosis, a parallelism, a conjoining of heart, of mind, of effort, and she/they/it pulls forward once more, now tied, now leading, now winning, and crossing the line to know victory is a sweet eruption volcanic orgasmic sensation unmatched anywhere in the world.

Persephone is a boat, a ship, thirty feet long and equipped with two sails, the mainsail and the jib, and she has a seven-foot keel her owner drops when it is stormy outside so she will sit lower in the water, to avoid danger of capsizing. He, the owner, has lovingly restored her over a six-year period. He bought her from a junk dealer back in Massachusetts, when she was lying languid amongst the other rubble, and he saw her, saw her potential, had to have her. Now she sails the Caribbean, the soft, warm waters caressing her haul, her rudder, with a lover’s embrace, and she is home. She has purpose, she is home, and she will never go back.

Persephone is a small child, a girl, almost a woman, at twelve, and she sits in piano rehearsal patiently, watching her teacher work with her sister, anticipating her turn. She has worked hard all week, six days of practice, twenty or more minutes each day, and she’s eager to show off her new skills to Mrs. Robinette. Finally Mary is done, hops off the bench, and Persephone hops up. Today is an etude by Haydn, and she plays it note-perfect, timing-perfect, and when she is done she beams up at Mrs. Robinette, who smiles gently, claps her hands thrice, and says “very nice, Steph. Nice, but not beautiful. Can you find a way to put some more emotion into it? Like this,” and she scooches Persephone over on the bench, places her hands on the keys, and plays, and the usurpation of Persephone’s joy at having played perfectly fills the air. Mrs. Robinette is a fine piano player, but as an instructor, she’s kind of an ass. Persephone would never say it out loud, but she has written it in her diary at least half a dozen times. Tonight will make one more, for sure.

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