Pomegranate Seeds/Litany for a Body

Kenzie Hampton

Hollins University, Hollins, USA


the juice of the pomegranate 

stains my fingertips

like the blood of my 

mother’s womb stained

the sterile white 

hospital grade bed sheets

on a crisp november afternoon

almost twenty years ago


only six seeds and

demeter weeps for her daughter


body full of vacancies of collapsed heart of broken lungs 

body full of girlhood altered and misunderstood 

body full of sweet sticky fruit juice metaphor gentle pink tongue 

on stained fingertip licking off the metaphor

body full of baby blue sidewalk chalk powdered

body full of goodbye mother

body full of chewed up swallowed soggy red rose petals 

blackening at the edges


there is sin somewhere 

inside this pomegranate

and i want to reclaim it

persephone warns me

i hear her voice in echo

do not eat from the palm

of the underworld

if you’re not prepared to stay


hades is watching

i am careful not to drop

a single seed


body full of moldy pomegranate and crystallized honey

(persephone scolds me)

body full of bones splintered in an ugly stomach protruding 

body full of glass shards with edges like clouds breathe in 

breathe out inhale heaven

body full of hades and bad ideas and exactly six pomegranate seeds

body full of oak tree limbs growing into a ribcage of flowers 

forgotten to flee to the underworld

sometimes nothing but a body full of potential


persephone, hear this —

my mother, too, helped create the seasons

tell demeter we’re all coming home