Children in the Garden of Eden
by Jason Stutz
We were like
children in the garden of Eden...
love without limits
but then, the snake entered
and colors fractilated
and all of what would be history
was then born.
Suddenly we were searching for
words to name things, words to cling to things
as, suddenly, everything
lost something vital that we could never describe or name;
but something was lost:
perhaps, it was the coating
of our own innocence playing upon things;
but, suddenly, all was slipping away like quick sand at our feet
pulling us around the ankles
while our still bright awarenesses shown
on our swiftly dwindling immensity
and drew us to a terrifying conclusion.
Tree! ! River! ! Man! ! Woman! !
Catch them before they have departed.
Catch them so all of history may know them
and, in their names, remember them from
when they were original, perfect, Ours.
Snake! Body! God! Body! Snake! Body!
Adam, come near to me, I have something to show you.
What was love was now
a swarm of bees beating against suddenly sealed hearts
and, hearts now excavated, a prison of loneliness, a shelter from life
that no companionship could draw us from.
We interwove no more;
our hands could touch, but not feel.
Anguish was our acquaintance, now
angling into our hearts
from the eyeballs, tongue and genitals
of the snake, who bore into our imaginations
and planted seeds there.
I remember sitting with you
your tears spinning in the repetitious dance of your thoughts
asking me if I believed in you still
Mastering myself, I told you I did
although my heart withered to be near you, to love you
cut in three between our lines of division.
Oh, the snake deigned to devour the boundless fruits (stars! galaxies!) of our love
and make us worm inside his belly as we contained ourselves in earthen lives.
children in the garden of Eden
knowing and fearing nothing of wrongdoing, oh blessed state!
All was a joyous and brilliant sharing of light and breath and words.
I see us dancing in the air in great sunlight above a beautiful, green field
joyous and laughing with and around each other,
around Ourself (a tear drops from my eye upon remembrance of that word: ‘Ourself’) .
But, something deigned to tear us from our endlessness
from the limitless spaces we had built
in our hearts for each other to dance and roam within
I have been thinking.
I seem to do almost entirely that, now.
Time. There is only Time,
conflicting within our hearts at every reach.
I’ve weighed and measured every inch of our love
and I think we do not need to feel ashamed anymore.
I wonder if the snake’s seeds were already sown
and needed only to be watered by unerring love.
I wonder if they were sewn with us
when, in eternity, we were conceived
and that these raucous, violent weeds
will eventually show to bloom into new flowers
of a beauty that we have never seen before
if we give them care and labor for them
and give them, yes, Time (our new home,
dimension of separations and reflections,
the long breadth of it devouring and sustaining itself at once)
for these flowers to grow within.
We will learn the patience of the seasons.
Not Love's perfection, but it is something else
that builds in me now when I see you:
a warm, bubbling spring that bulges
when you fall or say a misguided word
and I can not help but see their causes in myself.
I see you now
differently, my love.
I do not think
of God’s immediate perfection when I see you,
but I think of a larger, varying, forgiving perfection,
unseen, but yet the most present theme of our actions and our lives
as though someone is entreating me from far away
and their voice sounds in the nerves of my heart!
Oh, it is a love!
It is a love that is being built as though beneath our feet
and will emerge in full light
when it’s rightful moment comes.
It is a love
whose bricks are the very rubble
of our once perfect union.
Our children and our children’s children’s children
will suffer and war and fear.
I feel an æon of terror in my bones;
but at the end, there will be a child
whose mouth the whole long æon was waiting for to open:
a pained child learning to speak with knives
jutting against his flaming heart–
and yet, somehow, his words are hewn by Love.
His mouth, opening, will open, thus, a new era;
He will shape a new existence with his lips and his tongue
and his words will draw forth the elements and conditions of a new world.
This I sense now
like a shadow of light
behind every slip and fall we make.