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The man with silver hooks instead of hands
picks apart a pomegranate on a park bench
as the sun malingers about the sky. It is hot
in the plaza and royal palms bring no relief.
Wicked monkeys wank among the fronds.
See him as an ex-sailor whose risky ventures
gobbled up his tender digits. It’s market day
and treasure seekers haggle over odds and ends.
Wasn’t it beneath this spot the son of Kronos
pursued his inamorata, holding out a handful
of shining seeds? The ex-sailor asks, Why not?
These are time’s entropic diminishments.
As each person’s golden age is turned to tin,
he sets another crimson aril on his tongue.
“Persephone, Etc.” from The Day’s Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech, copyright 2016 by Stephen Dobyns, BOA Editions, Ltd.