Queen of the Underworld and other poems by Chloe DeFilippis

4, 3, 2, 1

under the green
light bulb narcissus
pinched plucked
breast to breast
fingers fist
pushed deep
into the hollow
of a pomegranate

I am your Underworld

widened for your rivers
filled with father’s rage
in stagnant pools water burns
I am bathed but never cleaned

………………..Lethe could not make me
………………..forget your Styx carved hate



under the green
light bulb narcissus
flowers fell
from my dress
as death came
loving dangerous

dragged dream-to-dream
by horse-drawn chariot
hot cold breath hands
every night for half the year

I am your Queen

full with Phlegethon curves
Tarturus hips a Shade of Ceres’
baby girl who played in Pergus fields
and never had her first kiss


I am Persephone.

captured and taken by men who let their own darkness consume them.
I am the Queen of the Underworld.

where they live, where they let the black bath water of fallen angels




down aching backs, imbedded deep in spines.
I am the Girl who Grieves.

having eaten six seeds of a stolen pomegranate, having sacrificed half her light and life.
I am the Girl Forlorn.

on my knees, I have tasted men’s prayers.

only Mother mourns.

I Never Left that Field of Flowers

When the trees forgot me,
I pulled fingertips off petals
and counted like a child:
until coming upon the rot,
black feathers glued to crust,
and remembering:
wings melt in the sun.

I was not home;
hands stained red,
I never left
that field of flowers.

Sky green as grass
chariot horses
pretended to chew,
waiting to tear
into newborn souls.

In green, I could not see.
Eels snaked the river.
Covered, I birthed husks of bones;
my womb a pomegranate shell.

The Myth You Dreamed

You were the myth I dreamed.
You ate my heart with a spoon.
My blood dribbled down your chin
as you licked your lips,
I wanted to consume you.

What could I turn into
with one wish?
………..I’d become the ocean and bring us back to where we belong.

The planets switched places
while two moons collided.
The sky took the earth
before I could take you.

When our world exploded,
there was no I love you.

My tongue cracked
before I could swallow.
My mouth, now, a black hole,
has sucked me into myself,
and the descent is never-ending.

About the author:
Chloe DeFilippis is an Italian-Polish-American Scorpio from Bayonne, New Jersey. Her poetry and flash nonfiction have appeared in the journal Voices in Italian Americana as well as in the e-anthology Olive Grrrls: Italian North American Women & The Search For Identity. She holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from New Jersey City University. Currently, Chloe is a sales assistant at a publishing company in New York City. This is her second appearance in Vending Machine Press. You can follow her (and her partner’s) dog on Instagram @brindlebear_

1 Comment on Queen of the Underworld and other poems by Chloe DeFilippis

  1. Sweet poems


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