Eve asks the serpent for a story
He began by telling her about rain,
how some is soft, barely mist
against her arm, how some days
her hot skin will welcome its moisture
but how other times it is fierce, frightening,
loud as peacocks or elephants, how it rushes
like owls, muddying rivers until you can’t see
trout or wide-mouth bass or painted turtles.
He told her about a time
when rain never stopped, when water swirled
above the whole land.
She could have seen, if she’d been there,
ripples ring her knees, she could have felt
her waist looped by flood. Sometimes,
he said, frightening is another word
for exciting. Then he described how raindrops
linger on leaves or a grasshopper’s wing or an apple’s
red skin, glimmering, the apple
beautiful as ruby but still sweet, still plump with juice, still
soft on her tongue.
He was right, she knew, he was right,
as soon as she took the fruit,
bit into its ripe flesh.