Robin Rosen Chang: Apple

What if they’d never touched it,
             never wanted to disturb the bees
swarming the orchard,
             sticky before pollinating

the many fruit trees—fat figs,
             blood oranges,
pomegranates so red
             they made the apples look brown.

Some people say it was olives
             they weren’t to eat. 
Or seeds. Those sunflowers
             in the garden—

a distraction! Adam wanted
             to play hide-and-seek,
so Eve crouched
             between the stalks

while he ran in circles,
             searching wildly,
yoo-hooing every few seconds,
             till he stumbled over her.

And who needed knowledge?
              It was overrated—
thinking about free will,
             existence, their role

in the garden. What was
             the point? Perhaps
it had been wheat
             they weren’t supposed to eat.

Gold, yes, but brittle,
             husked and dry.
Or what if there’d been
              no forbidden food?

All those sermons
             and great art:
Michelangelo’s ceiling,
              Bosch’s left panel,

Dürer’s engraving,
             The Fall of Man,
Adam and Eve,
             curls in their hair,

privates sheathed by giant leaves,
              Eve receiving
a palm-sized globe
              from that twisted serpent.

What if it had been a stone?



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