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Adam and Eve

Posted by Marisa Lin on

to know good and evil
 was to know
the betrayal of endings.

What the scriptures don’t say
            is that we were clothed in the skin of a lion.

We watched the dagger descend
            into soft, repelling flesh,
throat wheezing like a broken accordion, letting loose
            an incarnadine river as glossy as fruit’s skin,
            now thickening
into contorted scabs
into creature moans
into resemblances of pain.

The once dignified eyes now slackening,
   losing intention, becoming obsolete;
            the absence of animation,
   the stillness of paws,
            the silent, tearless weeping –
something in the beast departed
            and when it was gone there was a shifting
   within us.

   Skinning the body, he revealed a skull with sockets that bored
            into ours, the curved length of bone under might,
            the rapturous teeth and splayed muscle. He shook
the hide and we could almost hear
            the beast’s roar as we shielded our eyes from the
bloody mist. Sun in hand, he glazed the flayed skin,
            searing it with solar kisses.

Like a workman he chiseled skin from bone.
Like a tailor he sewed the ragged edges clean.
Like a barber he snipped the luxuriant fur
            so that it would not tickle our thighs.

                          It was him who taught us that
            nice things come from death
            pretty things from slaughter

and from this we knew that
to know good and evil
was to know
the betrayal of endings.

When we raised our eyes to the hills,
              scoured the valley in the fog,
sifted through the pink carnage,
   we wondered at what
we had unleashed at the
             wasteland before us
by the hunger within us.

             We slept under the leaves that night. That night
halogenic eruptions shoved the wind, salt plains birthed
              steam and smoke. Silvery ghosts wandered the Outside;
howls burrowed into the crevices of our ears.

When dawn aroused, night of mourning became
              morning’s consort, for heaviness did not depart
              with the dark but remained with
   child: dust coagulates into us;
we dissolve into lust.

Lion and Lioness.
Master and Mother.
Curse of the Ground.

but we
               did not want this - 
               this bequeathing of meat, this blood-subjugation.
wanted desire. wanted freedom.

The blemished garden our pinnacle
                our crescendo and now our exile: we
donned the garments awkwardly, not
                looking at each other as we assumed
                the skin of our brother.

What the scriptures don’t say
                is that the day we lost our home
                was the day we paced eastward, lion-skinned
and unredeemed,
                                 green brush piercing our feet under the
                                 and beautiful



Marisa Lin began attending The River Church Community in late 2018. She is a recent graduate of Stanford University, where she was involved during all four years in InterVarsity's campus ministry. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the contours of language through poetry.


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