Eve in Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights

A seed flambés and pops into a pod: it is my brain awakening.
Four limbs telescope from my trunk, and breeding organs pipe
pink above my viscera. Beneath my chin, a dairy bar opens.
I burst bent from bone.

I am not born, nor am I made of dust. No one breathes the soul
of life into my nostrils. I slide out beneath a fetid armpit
to lie aground, facing Rock Face, he of the carapaced eye
and blacksnake moustache.

Upon rising, my eyes fall on a cesspool filled with vermin
and birds, some free and good, some encrusted with pearly lies
formed from a sand speck that so plagued an oyster, he blew his nacre.
I would have run away…but where?

A sleeping form bestirs, yawns, sits up, and upon seeing a gash
in its side, bleats long and loud. Then from a pink monstrance
where the Eucharist is kept steps a godlike figure with butter curls,
and robed in robin’s tongue pink.

The form’s screams rattle the scalloped hills the arid sky the blue lake
and the god wiggles his fingers to heal it. Then the form stretches out
in a puppy dog way to graze god’s foot…god grips my wrist
and tells the form

this, including me, is his dominion. I’m miffed. A murky pool beckons,
a way to grow aslant with knowledge already seeded,
to be a fish with wings, a bird with three heads, a missile piercing the sky
with a beak. I will howl at the moon like a crocoboon.

Lynne Handy is a member of the Kentucky State Poetry Society and Chicago Writer’s Association. In 2013, she self-published a novel, In the Time of Peacocks, and her work has been published in Memoir Journal, Lark’s Fiction Magazine, and Pegasus. Her short story, “Green Lady,” was included in Familiar Spirits, an anthology of ghost stories. Her poems, “Girl Finding Voice” and “Witness,” won second place and honorable mention, respectively, in the Kentucky State Poetry Society’s Adult Poetry Contest. A retired library director, she lives in North Aurora, Illinois, USA, where she enjoys nature and writes poems and short stories.

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