Machine Guns Loaded with Pomegranate Seeds

By Mike Allen

A thousand Persephones lie bleeding in the Lethe,

a thousand more cross on Charon's armada,

proud brows gleaming, hair windswept,

the first shawls they made once they taught themselves to knit

clutched to their shoulders, flak-jacket secure.

Behind the sandbags crouch the grunts of Hades, primed to feed

a thousand chains of regret through greasy barrels.

We peer through sniper slots

at the enemy's gowned grace,

shudder, rub our hands, wish for breath

to warm our palms, wait sadly for the order

to serve the feast.


Mike Allen is editor and publisher of the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, and thanks to Kickstarter he'll be releasing a fourth volume in 2013. He's also editor and publisher of the poetry journal Mythic Delirium.

His first short story collection, The Button Bin and Other Stories, is forthcoming from Dagan Books, and his first novel, The Black Fire Concerto, is slated to come out from Black Gate. His short fiction has appeared most recently in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Not One of Us, with more on the way in Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction. Many more of his poems can be found in the Strange Horizons archives.

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