Space heater of volcanoes—mountaintop no feather can peak, you are jasmine breath
of spring, breast of terra firma, wrapped in cowry shells of clouds. You are torso of time
clearing thunder’s throat—lightening strikes in cage fights of celestial arenas. Who am I
but dressed up dirt to wrestle you? What am I but a tapped out hip—bankruptcy of tricks
slipping out of the ring to change.
What the Snake Whispered in Eve’s Ear
Well now, looka hear Eve, your skin is soft as a silkworm’s belly. Hasn’t anyone told you? And I mean, really, what has Adam done for you lately—leaving you alone in the garden like this with hips as wide as all creation? I wouldn’t, but that’ssss just me. And I
don’t mean no harm, but didn’t that first boy tell you you’re as fine as Hummingbird’s feathers—fresh as dew collecting rainbows on an orchid’s lips? Everyone in the garden can see it Sis—except perhaps for you. I want you to. But ah, that’s right, that’s right—
the tree that lets you know your glow is off limitssss. That’s what God said, didn’t he? I mean, that’s what I thought I heard him say when he was lying to you about good and evil cuisine and all. Oh, did I say “lying?” I mean when he was just “talking” to you about
the way he thinks you, and all other ribs, should live. My My My. Now, how is anybody going to tell a goddess what she should or shouldn’t eat—or who she shouldn’t kiss? Oops, did I ssssslip up and tell the truth again—call you by your name? Goddess? My
Goddess? My serpent curious queen? Well now, listen hear Eve, you know I would never be the one to come between an idol and the Most High’s commands. Just let me introduce you to a little nibble. I’m sure God will understand.
-- Truth Thomas is a singer, songwriter, and poet, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Washington, DC. He studied creative writing and music at Howard University, before earning his MFA in Poetry at New England College. He is formally writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literary Society in Maryland. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Party of Black (Flipped Eye/Mouthmark Press, 2006), A Day of Presence (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2008), and Bottle of Life (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2010). His fourth book, Speak Water, is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2011. He serves on editorial boards of both the Tidal Basin Review, and the Little Patuxent Review. Some of his work has appeared in: Mythium Literary Journal, OVS Magazine, Pluck!, The Progressive, Quiddity Literary Journal, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (Cave Canem Anthology), and The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni).