While Adam bungee jumped bare-assed in the Geechee River,
Eve walked past the Tree of Life, stopped and began to add
the events of her life like an actuarial. First a rib of Darkness
swallowed her adult life. Then Light like a television makeover,
Eve became the First Lady dining on five-star meals. She nabbed
Adam, the most eligible bachelor in town. Soon, she owned
a penthouse palace with a view over every continent. Nightfall
approached and Eve's heart pounded. The adrenaline rushed
like a cocaine fix. When Eve placed her lipsticked lips
on the gloss of the apple skin and snapped her pitbull jaws,
nothing happened, there was no monsoon sky overhead
or Charlton Heston chastising her for her stupidity. Instead
Adam arrived in a Speedo - his abs defined. "Why did you
eat the apple?!" Eve looked at Adam with the eyes of serpent.
"Because I was bored and you don't understand my emotional
needs," she hissed and hurled the core like an empty
champagne glass. Adam stared at Eve as if she were a caught
rabbit in the mouth of a lion. "How did you know you were bored?"
The man I love sleeps
in the other room. We
stay up late fondling
the fan, plugged
to the sticky walls.
The feng shuei is a joke,
chi laughs at us. The rubber
plant is choked in the July
sky. Nails grow from wood.
We are catless. Sometimes
I dance to Cuban music.
Outside a row of drop
dead hedges. Churches
constructed from twangy
amps. Loud sermon slam
mass. Tinky tinky tunes from
the neighbor's cars. Sidewalks
sag in haze. Kids watergun
their mothers. His hair
is silver, buzzed. Neck
smells of chlorine & Dial.
Lunch is broiled tuna steak,
a disinfectant aftertaste.
Lemon rinds swirl with ice
in glasses. The landlady
stands watch by her register.
Her hair is a frenzy. She
rings up eggs. Swears
the rent will skyrocket
& smiles hard. He does
pushups on the humid wood.
He is always late for the job
he hates. That predictable
crunch when he bites his bran
flakes. I forget the mysteries
of the rosary. Don't want
to call my mother for them.
She may think that I've stapled
hope to the New Testament,
the way the Hassidic woman
holds her Bible. The sandals
he bought me have given me
blisters. I want to wear
his woven leathers. Instead
he buys me bandages from
the bodega. They do the trick.
He rubs them on my feet
like stigmata. Red fire
through the throbbing steeples.
Soft shadows hammer the sun.
Everything in its path bejeweled
by broken light & dust.
It was a garden into another garden
inhabited by everything else we had named.
We loved apples so we took a sack with us.
By the time we tasted all flavors of apples,
we had twin boys: Cain for Sugar Cane
and Abel for Apples. Eve started writing
in her Knowledge journal as I followed rivers,
diving deep as deep as I could in oceans.
Today I till the earth, planting what I want,
shepherding beasts whose ancestors
I named. Now time is as real to me
as a serpent whose tongue ticks
the grays of my chest. Nights when Eve
and I make love, I sense that the earth
in itself is as round as an apple. I cry,
yes, I loved an Eden once but would never
have left without Eve.
He left for me
a dying cherub
its tiny harp
inside my throat
& with these
strings I sing
myself to sleep