The Morning After

Was she thy god,

Superior, or but equal?

That to her thou didst

Resign thy manhood?

Paradise Lost

I wonder how Adam looked at Eve the morning after they became as gods.

Perhaps she slept passed him, turned, for the first time, from his face.

Perhaps she woke first, and had moved away, shaking determined mud from her drying hair.

Perhaps Adam thought of yesterday’s decision. perhaps with clouded eyes he remembered glossy tears glistening, grinding into his nerves,

Perhaps he remembered a flawless form, a frightful look fretting he would leave her,

That insistent whisper that he must have her, if in desolation,  in hell.

Now a rotting apple lay at his feet, a symbol of the birth of progress.

The decision was done,

The morning was come,

And with steady sternness he searched for that immeasurable elegance that determined his choice.

Now he could see the chips of her painted nails,

The smears of her painted face,

The roots of her painted hair.

When Eve returned, his eyes were closed, as if in sleep, but really in disguise, hiding disgust, or fright, or despair,

To find his perfect idol flawed and defected, to have sold his soul for a gilded goddess and to wake to receive a poked paper doll,

Leah’s veil removed,

And reflection without respite

For eternity.

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