Reverse Persephone

This morning,
for the sake of a metaphor,

I got out of bed
with you and the cat

and “the warm thing”
(which we say the cat calls the hot-water bottle)

and went back to work
for the notebook I’d left on my desk.

Winter is coming,
but of course it wasn’t as cold as I thought.

The leaves were on fire.
On the bus I found myself sweating

and smiling, taking the coins
from my fellow passengers’ eyes

and handing them back
with interest.

Too many have died;
the underworld is overcrowded.

The bus driver didn’t know he was Charon,
and Charon didn’t know it was a return trip,

or did he? Pulling away from my stop
he honked; I looked back; and he waved.

Anyway, love, I’ve got my notebook back
and it’s time to go home

after I get pencils for me, and for you
the 2% lowfat milk of paradise.