by Marissa Ahmadkhani
Dysthymia, or For Persephone
I buy plants on days when I wake
to a numbness in my chest—
as if the smallness of the buds
will shoulder some of that dull weight
before sending it into the soil.
When Persephone was stolen by Hades,
she was out picking flowers—
stopping for a narcissus bloom,
she reached out and the Earth rose up
beneath her to chariot her away.
I look down to pick a plant,
and each time I wait, half-hopeful,
for the ground to split below my feet.
Marissa Ahmadkhani’s writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including poets.org, which awarded her the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2015, 2017, and 2022. Currently, she teaches composition at the university-level and serves as Assistant Editor of The West Review.
Melissa Goodnight’s writing and photography have appeared in Mud Season Review, Litro, and Burningword among others. She has work forthcoming in Moon City Review. She has degrees from Missouri State and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She holds an MFA from Mississippi University for Women and lives in Atlanta.