To Blame

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They tell me Original Sin
dripped off your Parseltongue
in sleek words of serpentine promise.

They tell me your fingers
stroked the smooth red fruit,
clasped its sensual roundness
in bare, peach-soft palms.

They tell me that the instant
your teeth broke through the
skin of knowledge, you fell—
you fell so far that you became human.

Girl, I heard a lot about you.

From the rib you were formed,
from man’s body torn—
yet it is your body that tears,
again and again,
your ribs
encasing every heart that has followed
yours.

What was it like for you
when your body was no longer
like that of a newborn, when you became
aware of the sanctity of flesh,
when you clothed yourselves with fig leaves
to protect your bodies from the world’s scalding eyes?

What was it like for you
when God pointed His great divine finger,
thundered, “Y’all best be out of here”?

Did you think it was all your fault?
Did the blame settle, like a cape of thorns,
round your naked shoulders?

You made the first mistake.
You’ve created a world
of supremely flawed creatures

Where we rape our mothers
strike our sisters
beat our sons and
murder our brothers.
We are infinitely flawed
down to each individually
glimmering
blood-tipped shard of our
humanity.

You ate of the forbidden fruit
and you gave of your forbidden fruit
gave up the bliss of serene labor
for the screams of freshly picked life
so brutally torn from its roots.

I don’t know why they call
it the Adam’s apple
when it was so clearly yours.

They say to err is Eve,
and indeed you were the first to
disobey, to defy,
to discover.

They say to err is human
and when I look at my fellow humans erring
I see Eve everywhere.
In the eyes of a baby who must learn
do not touch;

in the eyes of a child who must learn
right from wrong, wrong from right, and all
that exists in the space between;
in the eyes of an adult who must learn
which risks are right for the taking.

You gave us mistakes.
And in doing so,
you gave us knowledge
you gave us the freedom to think
the way we choose to think,
the freedom to learn the differences and
the similarities between
good, and evil, and wisdom.

The world knows you as the latter half of
Adam and,
the woman who was tempted
and gave in to temptation.
Innocence destroyed,
Paradise lost,
Eden gone.

I know you as
Mother
the first of millions,
the first true human,
the first to make the mistake
of being imperfect.





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