You’re on a bed, and you’re thinking about rope. It’s a pathway. It’s a story that delivers you. You can track it, the way you were tethered to shame. The time in the van, with the burn against your face, against your wrists. You tore and bruised and cut your skin. You let it be whipped and pummeled. You kept waiting for something to break. The seat? Was it? The place where your soul sat? Your conscience? What lived in the place you wanted broken?
There would be a voice sometimes, after, a voice that said something so faint you never could hear it. A voice you were too tired to chase.
She pressed her knee into my ribs and pinned me.
He held my throat and told me never to use my hands. A terrible price when I forgot.
There is nothing here. Nothing. My only deep place. I said that and believed it. A child afraid of caves. Bandits hide in them. Treasure. Eden. A garden. I always loved Eve. Always. The snake and the apple. To be the first to bite into it. It’s only a story. The first taste.
My mouth was bleeding and I’d fallen. The mud kept trying to keep my boots. On the other side of her there was a bridge, and then a bar, and then music. I could hear it in the field. They blame Eve for everything. And they are so right. She made this possible. She made pleasure possible.
I wanted to break my shame. I see that now. I wanted to batter it to pieces, and vomit those pieces into the sea. I’ll eat until I’m full, then rest and eat again. I’ll live with joy, and you can call it sin. You who are ashamed of your nakedness. You who are afraid of hunger. The tree was there for her to find. She only had to be brave enough to reach out. Brave enough to pick one. Brave enough to bite.