Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skin, and clothed them.
It’s not that the garden was empty this evening.
The rabbits still played among the fallen apples,
the bees still put honey in their honeycomb, and
the flowers continued to hiss and sway like snakes.
It was just that Adam was missing.
Even as Eve called his name into the darkness,
she knew he was gone. She felt for his rough skin,
his startled hands. She remembered his leather tongue.
As she sits in the garden’s rustle and quiver,
Eve sees a quill pen beneath the willow tree:
Something to write her poetry with.
She had tried to make up a word for each flower,
—the daises, and the lilies, and the bougainvillea—,
but had failed in a poverty of languages, each turned to babble.
Imagine that the bull frogs could suddenly speak
Latin and the cicada Mandarin Chinese.
So puzzling. While each word began as a poem,
full of laughter and rain, soon the garden
had turned dry and stale, an old imagining of the desert,
one that drained the language of sense and sentiment
out of the soil. She might have been playing a joke or
rehearsing for a play, rather than reciting poetry.
Adam, she said as the beast rose up under her sibling, earth.
This evening, this Eve, only once, knew God as excess.