Adam and Eve were born of flesh,
and woke from sleep, when God addressed
"Here is the world - unsoiled, unstained
(The sheet of the sea hides her breast and her veins.)
The time is uncertain; the end is ordained
and when it is finished, begin it again."
They saw God, saw
Lucifer, saw the tree:
felt oppressed. The world
was young but the book had
been opened. All stories conclude
in words and in gestures, wild and crude.
(They left heaven, fled to
the ambergris ocean, the
Mad, they went to Egypt, built
Cairo in the delta where
her legs met, Thebes where
her eyes beat on the cataract
made cities on
her body on
credit, faith, and lust.
Until the groaning hungry ibis
and the famine drove them out.
From Egypt to Rome,
Adam to Caesar,
In Pliny's manuscript, Adam said:
"Here is Rome
a senate in your sympathy
an orphanage in your heart.
Come to his flat avenue, can't you
feel how far I've walked, on every flagstone?
Witness beaten sandals, frayed thongs;
feel your posture sag? I want to rest,
and I want you to help. I sat on the banks
of the Tiber; has Rome washed into my lap?
The streets are the furrows of my skin.
"I like a fire at my fingertips, not
bellowed to me under the floor."
Rome fell to that barbarian.
God reminded them again.
"The knowledge is good, but it isn't a cure
for an Eden that seems so unlike the brochure."
He pulled back the skin of earth, and found,
a beating heart beneath the ground.
He knew, for once, the world would die.
They went to dirty London, unhappy with
the lot of Rome. Amid the stench of a filthy Thames,
his blood ran with offal, with hate,
leached from the baiting pit, and she
did, too, in the ugly city,
from Knightsbridge to the sea.
They fought like monsters, fought a curse
that God foresaw, and they rehearsed.
An ugly city, from Knightsbridge to the sea,
and full of bitter folk.
Such is the end, a world
embalmed in salt and sand,
the leaves burned away; no cities
only orphaned tenderness under
ruined arches and aquaducts, wishing ill
but wanting that world returned,
and crying, yes, but knowing still,
their end was near; for all they yearned.
We have read this story cover to cover;
let Eve close the book, and pray in her sleep while
Adam dusts his hands,
and God begins anew.