the first thing they teach you in bible school
is the original sin
the first exodus of the human race
out of the garden
where God grew our flesh and watched it wilt
under the weight of falling apples
and cognizance
when he used the earth as seed
to grow the first bodies
the stench of our curious liquor
more poisonous than snake’s venom
brought draught to the soil…

Adam’s eyes, filled with breasts for the first time,
half insatiable like mouth beholding prey
half irritable like saint beholding devil
the scar on his ribcage burned
and his first gift to her,
after her sin fed his mind with knowledge,
was a garment with which to cover herself.

in the first exodus of the human race
we left eden
but when will eden leave us?

we men don’t question our promiscuous serpents
and all of their lazy tricks—
don’t question gravity,
the power of a falling apple—
things to which we think we bear no resemblance—
but the bearing of a naked body
the dancing of flesh around calcified dust,
plump and moist with life and passion,
is of no concern to us.

from the relentless sashay of hips
we do not recall
tiny billows of dirt
struggling to stand and shriek against the silence
that accompanies a barren earth.

don’t you know a barren chest knows not creation?
knows not cream, honey, nor nectar
knows not spine like tree trunk
before whittled down into rocking chair for your leisure?
commonplace. painted. polished, shined. covered with fabric
burned with cherub breath until unrecognizable
don’t you see – we have put Eden into our women.
and into some of our men.
we have turned a body into pasture
for burning bush and scarlet scar
that grow hologram blossoms—
all color and no texture.

exodus is a necessity
is natural like water ripples in disturbed ponds
before the water gets too stale
and we forget all the movement we can make.

Darius Johnson (djohnson01@college.harvard.edu) is a poetry contributor to the Indy.