*(After Yasmin Belkhyr)*
Michael comes in the middle of the night,
brings her Bible tracts and apples from Jehovah’s
garden. Sometimes, on good days, it rains bread.
Others, and Eve is left to scrounge. At night,
she shoots at limping calves, follows rabbit tracks
through drifts of red snow. Memory is unforgiving,
here. Eve is soft and full of rot. Meanwhile,
Eden shrinks. Jehovah’s temper settles and swells.
The cottage is small, Eve says, but she has learned
to make do. She strangles birds. Michael laughs
and the doves cry; the birds are yet to die beyond
the town line. Eve sits with her legs crossed
at the ankle, tongue between her teeth. The river red
and currant orange, she bites into one of Jehovah’s
apples, leaves her gap-toothed kiss on its bruised
and blessed skin. Sweet, Michael thinks. Sweet.