wicked alice| fall 2009

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Rachel Bunting

Eve Considers Her Life

Every day is the same here, which is the same
as every day that was the same there, but what we do
now is different.  Adam never lets me forget
my part in this: the part of my lips, siren red
against white flesh Ė I didnít know anything
would change.  In muddy water now, a pool
of last nightís rain, I wash the graying rags
he wears around his waist.  My hair is graying
too, the strands multiplying every week.
My heart shrivels; I can feel it furrow.

No one knows about the visits with the serpent Ė
he found me one evening mourning the blood
that blooms all around me, from my sons,
my own body.  It was this serpent that brought
us here, but now his words warm my night:
Adam rolls away to dream of Eden and some
rises inside me, responds to the faint
invitation from that forked tongue.  He says I will
be beautiful.  Little holds me here Ė Abelís teeth
glint from the furrowed fields, now fallow
every season; Cain is just an empty space we bend
ourselves around.  Seth is only hope, unformed.

Itís a grainy film in my mind, flickered scenes
in sepia: Cainís stone-hand against Abelís skull;
the rock-heavy truth of the fruit; the barren land
of life in this now, after the Garden.  My skin
is puckered with sorrow.  I harden against it,
needing something different.  Tomorrow I will be
a new creation: scaled body that wears the earth,
voice to chafe the ears of all who hear it.  Adam
sleeps undisturbed.  There is no looking back.