Out of Eden

Photo by Stanislava Stanchy via Unsplash


Out of Eden



What is the meaning
.                           of this love
.                loaded with words?
Doesn’t he know
.                                            his rib
cannot hold me?

Close nearby, my first
.                               spring splits
.                open, leaves
bursting out.                Such plain,
.                         aimless brains.
Nothing is easy,
.             not even this air,
.                                         rolling in
and out, a boulder
.                caught in the windpipe.

The Apple

The days are shorter now.
.                            While God slept,
.                the roots
have outgrown their trees.
.                             Angels don’t soar
.                with the same
mild ecstasy.

.                               What do I know
.                about these angels
who pretend to be
.                               human?
Their faces elongated into beaks.
.                Their wings
.                               flapping like black
.                               I know
nothing about angels,
.                                              too little
about humans, unless
.                I am one of them.
                           Am I?
Who’s to say?


Awakening to a world
.                               that doesn’t care
if I’m alive. The tree
.                covers itself with leaves.
I walk underneath
.                               bare, unsheltered—
a bone
.                bereft of its flesh.

The duties of living
.                are calling: small
.                               orchid mouths.
Forgive them their hunger.
.                                              My body
blooms like a promise
.                               from the red sod
of this garden.


He held the sword
.                against the void
of my mouth,
                              defiant words
dropping like arrows.
.                Trapped in the bow,
my fear of tenderness.

The air felt heavy,
.                chilled on my chest,
a wounded bird
.                               ensconced
in its coffin.

.             Tomorrow, the light 
.             may be kinder.

It’s strange how things
.                               turn out: one day,
I’m sitting alone
.                on a windowsill,
ninth floor, a high-rise building
.                               somewhere
in eastern Europe; the next,

.                                              I’m flying

over the ocean
.                               toward my new
.                life with all its
new anxieties:
.                               who was I kidding
when I convinced myself
.                I could leave them behind?

.             Tomorrow, the light 
.             may be kinder.

The day I left, my family
.                crammed in the car,
unwilling to let go.
.                               Seven of us
.                in a small car,
bags and suitcases
               piled up to our chins.
                              I didn’t feel
I was leaving.
.                It was funny.
.                               I felt guilty
for not being able to suffer.

.             Tomorrow, the light 


First published in OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, July 2019

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