Eve Apologizes Again


after Ada Limón


What had happened was that I had already stroked

every soft beast, named every being with fangs or horns

that roamed the lush landscape, the one back-dropped

by a sky pinked with a bridal piano rose;

there was nothing left to do, so I knelt into the grass

and pierced my chest with my own fingers, ripped out my sternum,

the sound—like a head of wet iceberg lettuce split in half by hand;

I held the bleeding column in reverent awe, then plucked another bone

from my own, this time, a curved one, and snapped it splendidly

to the dripping pillar, I detached another, C-shaped, flat and true,

fastened it to the other side, and I wouldn’t stop, one by one

I wrenched ridges from my torso, stacking them to this form,

my surroundings, of course, the inspiration for creation,

which is why I clicked each piece into what resembled

a king crab frame, a mimic octopus in embrace, an impassable crate,

and I was falling in love like a sculptress with her cut, a maker

with her make—why did you not build from scratch, asked

the echoes from a world to come; me, who thought to be the god

of this garden; well, how was I to know what marks a pain unbearable,

there was no way to measure each scream that escaped as I emptied

my skeleton; there was no way to know that isolating my scaffolds

was setting precedent; like rungs in a ladder, I just layered

with gaps in between, then added a final four, these last two sets

tethered but floating, then I chained all of it into one whole;

I stitched the skin around the cage so tactfully, you could feel

the ribs beneath it, and sewed it shut so elegantly, I left it scar-less;

I collapsed at the foot of a tree the second before he swallowed

for the first time a body full of air, he eyed this start of life,

moved towards my dormant shell, reached into himself to harvest

a jigsaw rib—he was just learning what it is to be man—

tucked it into my side and murmured, you’re welcome, as I rose,

just in time to watch solitude slither across my legs, smug and satisfied.

Copyright © 1999 – 2019 Juked