Eve, After by Laurie Rosenblatt



1.   Eve, After


After what? After there was light? 

After first sight, the orchards in rising mist,

limbs upraised in black on white? 


After waking unidentified, a bent branch

pruned from the tree?  After the rough bark splits

retreating beneath my smooth new skin?  Who am I

without you?


My desolate cry provokes you

to create again,

to create him.


Then his sons beget those old gossips

who get the story

dead wrong. 




2. About Adam


His passion is to categorize.  He names

things, splinters objects from being. The rabbit

divides from the jackal,  obscurity from fame

no from yes, the fig from the pomegranate,

the locust from the bee. In this way he tries

to invent me as the apple of his eye. 

And, wanting to please, I learn his labels (useless

to the continuous world).  So, he concludes,

She’s a fool, and casts a name my way.  

Oh that I might let it slip from me like skin.

Instead, I come like a bitch when he calls. He pricks

and mounts me for display. They will say

I was weak, but that is only to say I carried

my love in my cupped hands like an unfledged bird.



3.  Sin


Look how the light lies coiled on the leaves of the pear,

the apple, the plum, the apricot then shatters

into scales when touched by wind. Beauty swarms


the ruined fruit and enters my body like water,

my bones like oil. No viscous tongue lisps

in the grass.  No practiced argument captures


me. Luminous, the apple’s burnished flesh

teaches desire. I ache with appetite

for the unique,  the subtle, the poised restlessness. 


Turning away I falter, let the light

brush my lip, my nape, my arm, my hip,

casting its intricate webs of choice.


Mottled I am, and mixed: an agent now fused with fault.



4. Place of Unlikeness


The willow, yellow in spring,

lashes over me. My words

dwindle. Winter-bare

they lie apart twisted

as the cherry’s fallen branches.


The light defines, illuminates,

estranges, and transfixes.

Adam dedicates himself

to labels,

to white lies,

to the stained sheets in the bed.

Time. And again

I come back

seeking and spending for love.


Long divided from you, I become

contrary, broken,

a lucid outline rather than

the knowing darkness

that meets the in-turned gaze:  You are not

you to me now.


But radiance reveals

absence in me.

And before dawn the unspeaking speaks

more and more often, telling me

it is time to let my days

feed the layered emptiness that Is

and is.


If I hold out my upturned palm

will you alight?

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Laurie Rosenblatt



© 2005-2009 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas