Adam’s Rib: Part One

Adam sits by the bank of the River Pison, pleased by his thoughts of the evening before. He had spent much time on his knees in front of his Lord and it had been good. Then his Lord had taken him to His bosom and they had wept together and kissed and the salt had flowed between them. 

The birds flit by his eyes. A squirrel lay on his lap and the fur is fine on his fingers. The beasts have come to drink and they cavort in the water. There is the lion, full-maned, the tiger with many stripes, the lamb with thickened wool, the majestic elk with prongs extended to sky, the elephant with its finger of flesh extending between curved bones on its face, the many-legged serpents of all colours of skin, an eagle rides the air current from the rainbow sky with the dove astride its back, and more, and more. Adam has called their names out to his Lord as they had rested together where the four great rivers became one at the border of Eden. 

Adam sleeps. A serpent lays beside his head as he dreams and whispers in his ear and the colours of his dreams become subtle. 

God arrives to Adam as he sleeps and fits his form to the man and Adam cries out with joy in his slumber and awakens wet with the happiness of being close to his Lord. 

“I love you, my Lord.” 

“And I you, my son, who I have taken from the dust of my making and fashioned into warm flesh that I may love you. You man, alone are mine.” 

And Adam and his Lord lay together and caress each other as the birds of the sky and the animals of the field play games in the Garden of Eden. The rain falls in the way of a gentle mist, a mist finer than the dust that the Lord fashioned on the wings of the creatures that Adam has named butterfly so they might move through air without sound. 

But then there are times that Adam is alone in the garden. He sees that all other animals have mates that lay together in the way of God and himself. But when God is absent Adam must lay alone and seek the warmth of the other animals for comfort. 

Sometimes this is not enough. 

At the times of his greatest loneliness, when the ache opens a great void in the center of his ribs, and he cries out to the universe in a voice that darkens the skies and brings a hard, cold rain to the garden, the snake will creep under him and lie close to his breath and speak to him. 

“God has left you.”
“He will return.”
The snake whispers, the air moving around his gapped teeth like wind between old leaves, “Perhapsss not, you man who sleep alone.” 

“God always returns to me.” 

“Ah, but who does He sleep with now in some land beyond your knowledge.” 

“Snake. There is no land beyond this.” 

“Ah, then,” the snake whispers, “Where is it that the four great rivers — the Pison, the Gihon, the Hiddekel, and the Euphrates — flow? I have crept beneath the gates of the garden. I have seen the resting place of the gold and other metal that flows in on the waters of the Pison. I have seen the land where God loves the dark man on the soft earth of Ethiopia on the shores of the Gihon just as here he loves you. And the gardens of Assyria watered by the Hiddekel. I shall not even tell you of the land where the Euphrates runs, for salt would flow from your eyes if I did.” 

And Adam was filled by a great anger and a fierce longing for the love of God which, for the first time, he felt that his Lord was withholding. 

“Snake, snake, why do you tell me God’s secrets? These secrets fill me with rage and loneliness.” 

“But sssssir,” the snake said, “did you not wonder why you, of

all of us, had no mate to lie with, to caress and make you cry out in

great joy?”

Adam stuttered in rage, “G-g-g-god is my mate.”
“SSSssilly fool,” spoke the snake, “you are God’s plaything.” “That is just not true,” screamed Adam. “I am the Love of 

God, made in his image!”
“Truly, truly, just look at yourself. Hard of breast that are 

difficult to suckle. The breast of God is soft as pillows and gives forth milk.” 

“Yes, that is true but look,” Adam says and points to his genitals. “Are not God and I alike? Can we not place ourselves within each other?” 

The snake makes a clicking sound from deep within his long throat. It is the way he laughs. 

“Ssssspread your legs, you man fool. Where is that soft wet place? Does not God have an extra place for you to place your penis, yet you,

you only have one hole for God to place his. You man, you are only

half of what makes God whole.”
Click, click, click is the sound of the snake.
Adam has lost his humour.
“This is too much,” Adam wails. “I am lost. Whatever can I do?

The snake coils around him with its soft small feet on his skin.

“I can help you with this. Come with me.” 

Adam and the snake move slowly through the garden. A dark shadow covers the sun. Night comes at midday. 

They arrive at a giant tree filled with fruits that are fleshed out round and red like the sun at dusk. 

Marc D. Goldfinger is a member of the board of directors of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change news. Formerly homeless, he serves as the paper's poetry editor.

Top