“And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
In the end, we were covered with skins,
seven times, seven layers
of cells and glands. The heavens
are outside of us now—inside is water, blood.
Cage of rib and bone,
web of purpled veins,
like fruitless trees,
are wind—enters now only in gasps
and the sighs of our hungry tongues.
Eden echoes in my honeycombed lungs.
Outside the garden,
we cannot touch our whole selves to God,
only to each other. But even in this
there is sweetness—
a woman’s bottom lip,
pressed to mine like a ripe fig.
He needed it, the $12.99 “buzz
shooter,” blue darts suctioning
at windows and walls. When he holds it,
he makes the sound instinctive in all
small boys—half siren, half AK-47.
What is the war
they must always be fighting.
bears propped like range targets
dolls dive-bombing to the sidewalk.
He doesn’t understand pain yet,
or that he could cause it.
He just wants to hear the bang
to see something he made fly.
How powerful power’s drive. What appetite
for destruction is tamed in the good men,
what strength in those who one day
Our whole lives I have grounded her,
been the roof separating her from the sky.
She could spend hours dreaming
her way to the well, clay jug
waiting to be filled.
They say, now, that I was wrong.
That while I braided the bread,
my sister’s undone hair was her salvation.
I stood in the doorway,
watching her anoint his feet, perfume
glazing my clean floor,
and thought how badly
they need us—the hands that pour
for the lips that drink,
the careful scaffolding
for their irresponsible miracles.
SARAH SCORGIE is a grant writer, copywriter and poet living in San Diego, California.