The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Becoming Persephone by Mary Ann Honaker

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Becoming Persephone by Mary Ann Honaker, released by Third Lung Press in 2019. 

content warning for rape


One thing I learned:
time is not linear; it is cyclical.
The past washes over us

again & again. Again
we move room to room
without reason, again

moonlight through car’s
rear window pierces stalk-like
in neat lines, only you and I

see it, think it is solid
enough to touch,
our amazed fingers push

through the bands
of bluish light. Starshine
tinkles like wind chimes

and again your cyanide
halo astonishes me,
your back to the window,

again your hand silencing
my mouth, my cunt sore
for days after, my mind

–the ways of the underworld
are perfect, they
must not be questioned–

my mind pulls thick curtain
to hide it, my mind parts
the curtain inch by inch.

You thought you only broke
the vase of me, temporary
& fixable. You thought

only once did you pluck
my daisy petals one by one:
she loves me, she loves me not

but time swings around
like a truck descending
a mountain, switchbacks

onto itself, returns
to the same view, only
deeper in the valley.

You cannot cut time
like a fishing line,
let the past drift downstream,

hook still in my mouth.
We return again & again
to that shore, predator

& prey. My impalement
still stingingly fresh.
Red bloom still on my face.

Mary Ann Honaker is the author of Becoming Persephone (Third Lung Press, 2019), and the chapbooks It Will Happen Like This (YesNo Press, 2015) and Gwen and the Big Nothing (The Orchard Street Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Bear Review, JMWW, Juked, Little Patuxent Review,, Sweet Tree Review, and elsewhere. Mary Ann holds an MFA from Lesley University. She currently lives in Beaver, West Virginia.


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