Persephone will greet me at the gates. She has a soft spot for things like me, mutts of miscegenation, blue/black/white/girls forced to live in two worlds at odds with each other. Girls that cross state lines to the heat of a swamp thick south land, an Alabama deep land, dark land, ones that know there’s a rapidness to violence, who discovered before their bodies got the chance to bloom how fast the cavern opens, the trigger pulls. Persephone will charter a private barge, pay Chairon double for a trip with the two of us & all our baggage, she won’t say anything when the boat slips free of the shore, cuts across a mirrored surface of souls she’s used to deep silences. When she speaks, it’ll be about mothers, (hers Olympian, mine Ohioan) a comment on how similar they are, when they decide to protect their daughters. Oh, how love can make a woman willing to wreck the entire world. Persephone won’t judge when I feast on the bounty of her table, she knows what it is to have a hole inside the body needing to be filled. She won’t say that these seeds can’t bare the kind of fruit that would let either of us grow here.
Juliette Givhan (she/her/hers) is a poet and MFA candidate at Oregon State University. She completed a BA in English with a minor in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. Her writing explores the intersection of multiple identities, and how to survive as a Black queer woman in America.