The Way Katy Lost God
In the fields of Metchosin,
her mouth moistened, glistened,
slightly red, a wooden basket,
almost filled lying on the ground,
and her fingers over everything
he would eat. He concealed a wedge
of apple amid blackberries for the pie;
and she took, maybe without meaning,
maybe by misfortune, his touch from
the apple, his hollowed hand, the other
peeling, his thumb shifted slow steps
across crimson apple skin. She took
the taste of him, and he placed a portion
of apple in the blackberry pie because
he wanted the unexpected, wanted her
to feel foreign in her mouth, to feel
the unfamiliar skipping across her tongue,
hiding between her teeth. He needed her
to know he'd take God away from her,
and she couldn't blame anyone
because he'd warned her with a piece
of apple, warned her, a wounded boy
in the fields, if he couldn't hear God
then neither would she; he took the sound of
Christ in his hand and peeled the voice
of God away from her, the hollowed
shape of his fist all she could see.
Sleeping in Your Hand
As beautiful as a scorpion
sleeping in your hand. I am
as tender as the small bones,
so delicate, in your left ankle.
I am as delicious,
as mouth-wateringly sweet
as a square of dark German chocolate
melting on the well of your tongue.
I am the moment when you leaned over,
red wine and cigarettes on your breath,
and gave her
her first kiss.
I'm the woman you dreamt during
the long summer dawn when rolling over
you smelled hay and alfalfa from the fields;
saw the colour of my eyes in the meadow.
I am the song you sing in the evening,
the thought that tickles you in the afternoon,
and the tune sitting on the tip of your tongue
the one you can't quite remember.
I'm the young girl you passed,
in the hall, in senior high,
the one who smelled of soap and noxzema.
I have sang your praise from my youngest age
right on past thirty, and have left the breasts
which sat on my chest like green apples to my youth.
I would like to offer you the unwritten,
the purity of the blank page.
The Short Fall from the Glory of God
So close to heaven his wings
glowed sapphire from the hand of God,
and I loved him as if I'd breathed
the first rush of air,
through the slime of earth,
into his lungs turning them
from stone to flesh.
Seduction did not lead me to eat
the fruit hanging crimson and forbidden,
but his uncluttered logic, his simple question:
But life was sorrow and travail
before I ate the fruit,
and Adam and I were mortal,
rich in the shadows of our sins
before I bit into the apple,
and after I'd finished the fruit
the serpent lied in the shadows,
hidden from the afternoon heat,
and looked upon me with sorrow.
Before I ate the fruit I lived in the grace
of God and even my sins moved toward him.
Was it Lucifer's loneliness
which led him to ask me
why I didn't eat of the tree?
And was it my anguish which led Adam,
though I asked him not to,
to take the fruit and weeping bite in,
choking and swallowing the last of his grace.