For Xing Ke
She didn’t represent the night; she was the night.
Her long black hair cascaded down her shoulders and back and wrapped around her face and arms like a velvet blanket. When her dark locks touched her pale skin, the contrast between them was intense. Her face remained stoic, but her inky, starless eyes said everything. On her face, down her arms, and all over her body were battle scars that were dark blue. When she was alone, she covered the scars that ran across her right eyebrow and cheek with hair. Even though she wore arm and leg braces, she still felt vulnerable. When sitting on her throne, she would look at her lap and see the scars peeking out from underneath her tunic and try desperately to pull down the skirt to cover them.
She hated her hands the most. Wearing any cloth over them got in the way, so no matter what she did, she would have to stare at them. The scars looked like jagged lightning, mocking her. Sometimes if she overworked herself, especially when using her scythe, the scars would break open, and the blue blood would spill out like thick oil. The wounds would heal by themselves, but the pain was always there.
Bathing was always a difficult experience. Instead of relaxing, she would stare at her reflection. She couldn’t help but only see herself as a broken vase that was hastily glued back together and only existed because of pity, not out of love or even necessity. Yet, all that pain, all that misery, would be washed away into the blackness when the world above became a cold shell, and her world below magically breathed life.
The dark wife of spring who would fall into her queen’s arms and make all the emotions trapped behind her deep eyes pour out like sacred waterfalls. When Persephone was home, she was home. She finally felt at home despite living in her kingdom for thousands of years.
Persephone would place flowers that she gathered from her mother’s precious garden in her wife’s hair. She couldn’t help but laugh. Rainbows don’t exist during the nighttime, yet here it was. In bed, she would wrap her arms tight around Persephone, not wanting to let go. Persephone would kiss her scars and whisper: “Hades, my beauty, my love.”