POSTDILUVIAN

So when Noah finally docks the ark
on Mt. Ararat, or wherever, how
does he decide which animals get off first?
And for that matter, the earth having
been flooded for weeks, just what
are they supposed to eat on new land?
For the vegetarians it must have been
very slim pickings, and who wants
a badly waterlogged salad anyway?
And with two of each only, what
did the carnivores actually eat?
If you stop and think about this
long enough you are left to wonder
just how many species were sacrificed
to God’s little tamper tantrum, and
let’s not mention how three sons
and mom and dad, the sole survivors
managed to repopulate the world.

ADAM’S RIB

Adam’s Rib was not,
she said, a barbecue joint
on Beale Street
in downtown Memphis,
nor a beloved Spencer Tracy
movie in which sidelong
glances with Kate Hepburn
meant more than audiences realized.
It most certainly was not
proof of the claim that woman,
born of man, was meant to be
subservient for all time
to the male of any species.
No, she said, Adam’s Rib
was merely God’s attempt
to get it right
the second time around.

STREETCORNER PROPHESY

He stands on the corner, rocking back and forth. He has been here every day for as long as most can remember. He hasn’t bathed in some time, his clothes, once white are indeterminate shades of beige. Everything is worn thin. His beard has grown long, shaggy. His hair seems electric on his head. He wears sandals, their straps frayed. He always has the same worn book in his left hand. His right hand gesticulates as if leading some unseen orchestra.  As we approach he says, “the end is near, the end is near, the end is near.” We expect him to add “repent now” but he does not. We find this curious. We see the book he is holding is someone’s discarded Bible, his thumb in the pages. “The end is near,” he repeats.  I reach for the book which he hands me, and I turn the pages back to Genesis and hand him the book, smiling: “Now the end is a long way off,” and walk away.

GARDENING

He says, “You know it is long
past time to stop blaming the poor snake,
it wasn’t his fault, and when you stop
and think about it, he told no lies.
And what makes you think that he
had any idea of the consequences
of the offer, would you admit snakes
are as sentient as we are?”

She says, “I don’t disagree with you,
the snake should never have been blamed,
the real blame goes to the apple.
It was the source of all of the trouble,
and was it cursed and abused through history?
No, quite the contrary, it is honored,
recommended to avoid illness.”

He says, “But blaming the apple
is silly, it’s a piece of fruit,
nothing more, and was just present.”

She says, We both know you’d
like to blame Eve, it is the woman
you think was the cause of eviction,
but you dare not say it. For
with me present, you know
I would point out that such would be
an admission that women are
smarter than men! Now eat your apple.