Persephone Waits for Spring

by Rita Feinstein

Her heart was deeper than a thermos
and couldn’t be filled,

and there wasn’t enough stale coffee
to last the winter,

even when watered down so much
it tasted only like heat.

She had to crawl onto the counter,
faux granite marbled

like fatty blood, to reach the coffee,
a cheerless holiday blend.

She shook the last of the bag
into her French press

and waited for it to darken and fortify.
Those first few sips

were as promising as the sound
of his feet on the stairs.

Every day was the day he might say
you can go home,

but everything he said was a false spring—
a peach blossom

taking its first breath, then broken
in a fist of snow.

Rita Feinstein is the author of the poetry chapbook Life on Dodge (Brain Mill Press). Her work has appeared in The Cossack ReviewPermafrost, and Grist, among other publications. She received her MFA from Oregon State University.