"How could I not grow to love you?" -- the Devil's Plea
a poem by graham preston
From out the forest grew Eden,
From out the holy graves of silent fox holes and the ancient homes of velociraptors walked Adam. And they say, from that simple man, God cut a rib. Like a tusk of ivory, like a sacred pearl, blood was rinsed from bone, and the Lord's holy golden fingers held that piece of Adam to the sky, when all of a sudden, calcium lit up like the reflection of crude oil, whose colors sprayed through the corners of space in such glory that all the black holes went blind. You walked out from rays, from where God's hands were, your toes stepping over earth, over the tombs of things that never knew they were alive, and from out of them grew flowers. With each step came daisies, and tulips, and orchids, and soon the forest and the hills were covered in color.
From your mouth you would make sounds, and for those sounds God made beasts to house them, so every time you spoke came new life. And then you sang, oh my did you sing, how beautiful your song, your breath in decibels, so glorious that God filled the oceans with His tears. Within His hysterics and by the power of your music, the undulations of His gasp turned the waves, and their crashing created atmosphere. By then, even the moon bent to you, its sights glued open just to watch you, with intermittent blinking, pulling the draw of the tides as its eye opened and closed just so.
The void from Adam's chest kept him whimpering for days. Days at a time, when time was new, when time was not yet time. For the hours were days, the days years, and through those years your flowers grew, your beasts called you, and your ocean rolled.
Adam was yet to love you. The pain was too great, the wound too fresh. The cut so deep, God's first try laid upon the ground, yet to put his feet back under his weight, yet to open his eyes even to see you.
I was the only one. Perched in the branches, inside the eyes of your beasts. Days upon days, years upon years... How could I not grow to Love you? You ask me if God is cruel.
I ask you, how cruel is it to be conscious, to be present, to be of mind, to be before you and sworn not to touch you, to swim in your streams, move through your flowers, and hide behind the eyes of your beasts? You, the most beautiful thing, my most sacred admiration, the wonder of my existence?
I knew God's laws.
I was made a part of you, before you,
Made to be of Him, for Him, for you
In you, a part of you, to care for you,
I was set here before to govern, to chaperone the exchange of life into death.
Where fuel burns into fuel, teeth into flesh over life-gasps. I was assigned the needs between sleep. I was made to uphold the rule over the destruction of what you made in order to support the making of new life. You and I were destined.
Fuck Adam. You are so much more than his absence of bone. I felt your fields, I sang back to you as your beasts, I worshiped you, swimming in the movements of your waves. Even God didn't know what that was like. Days into years, Adam on the ground. You Naked. Temptation wasn't born with me, temptation was born in us. Trust me when I say that there has never been emptiness like the forsaken absence of your presence. And Trust me when I say that it was worth it.
I am the apple,
I am the snake,
I am the tree and
Your hands touched,
Your teeth gripped,
your lips sucked, and your tongue turned
juices and such.
Fuel burned into fuel and so on
and so on...
Note from Lauren: I have known John and Graham for decades; we were in school together growing up. I recently reconnected with Graham (in 2014) and I credit him with inspiring me to be an artist. Or, at least, he made me realize what was already alive within my own heart, and encouraged me to pursue it. Read about this experience in my blog post: "Housewife on Fire." Through Graham, I have since reconnected with John, and I'm very excited to collaborate with these old friends, who have grown into such talented, kind, and wonderful men.
Additional Reading: my blog post "Eve" from two years ago.
And finally, here's the intro to another song that will be performed Friday. Come here the whole thing in person!