WOMAN

to be the thing extracted
body-spawn, child of man.
life harvested from life
gives surgery a name. Adam,
what have you lost?
even you do not know.
you, who has been stolen from.
Eve is the act of taking, she
the spare rib, the borrowed bone.

who knows how much
of his heart came along with it?

THE COUPLE

I don’t even know their names.
But they stumble in the room anyway,
tangled and knotted and almost late
yet early enough to claim the partnered desks
glued together by the sawdust and physics
of this place. They are Siamese in the way
they walk, conjoined steps and mannerisms
and dewy skin as if just moments before
they had made love in some supply closet
no one visits, hidden at the end of the hall,
as if they were Adam and Eve an hour after
the fall of man. I can’t pinpoint
the plot of my jealousy.
The fruit is not yet ripe.

While she speaks
he traces the freckles
on her lower back. To read
the braille of her being, he must touch
to be literate. While he speaks
she cups his face with one hand
as if she cannot bear what could slip
between her fingers. His words,
to her, are biblical.

I can’t decide whether to cringe or weep.

I could hate them if I wanted to,
call my disgust by name,
name them so I can say I know them.
But when the spines of books snap
and it’s time to call it quits for the day,

I watch them leave. Funny–
I am the only one wondering
who I’ll be coming home to.

Who could ever touch me like that,
hungry for meaning
no words could ever satisfy?

Who could ever want me like that,
love me like that, to stay
for every chapter, even
after the fall?