I first realised how lonely I was while washing out a cup.
Grateful for the cavity of the bowl, the slim curve
of the handle, and the similarity of clay to flesh.
I thought of Eve, dead so long she’d gone anonymously
to soil. I longed to walk with her outside Eden when
some first thought of Adam’s betrayal came to her:
He had actually heard the voice and had not hesitated
to eat. It was all so clear now, but what did now matter.
I longed to feel those first wide hips sway as we danced on
a hill crest, far enough away from the sleeping man
to tease and commiserate about absence and devotion.
I wanted to make her laugh the first laugh of a woman.
I was bad off. I raced through Genesis to find something
to pretend was my precedent. I could hear my whole family
groaning in purgatory. I was dying to see the first breasts,
round enough for the whole race, the original belly with no
navel, smooth and muscular, the mons venus full
as an apple. God help me, I had never been so hard up.
It was those dark eyes looking past me to the stars.
I could see points of light in her pupils, my own
narrow face, my tongue flicking ecstatically.