Today's poem is by Catherine Carter
Adam And Steve
"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
But what if God did? What if I showed you
the lost book in that cramped hand some call Moses',
right to left (you read Hebrew, right?), the Book of Steve?
Stefan, if you're Orthodox, Estaban
if you also worship the Virgin of Guadalupe,
but never mind those dark madonnas. The Book of Steve:
it's much like the rest of the Pentateuch, you'll recognize
the style, except that it was before Genesis 1
when Steve became a living soul. A lively, friendly soul:
when those animals came questing, Steve was thrilled.
He scratched their ears as he named them, pulled
their ticks, asked them what they thought they should be called.
So he was scratching and chatting, naming away,
when up came Adam (Yahweh had been practicing men).
"Hey, dude." "Hey, Adam. You think this looks
like a crocodile?" "I dunno. More like a fox?"
They had a few beers (Yahweh's work of the day),
named five kinds of ants: Steve got carpenter,
leaf-cutter, sugar; Adam took fire and soldier.
Probably they made love, probably a lot (the world
was young then), but the Book of Steve is demure;
Moses, or someone, drew the curtain of discretion.
When the curtain comes up, the snake
still has brief feet, but Adam is changing the names
to better ones, and Steve's not there. It seems
there were complaints. Steve talked too much, always on
about feelings, food, the slant of the light; sometimes
he wanted to be on top; he took the remote, and didn't
give it back when Adam glared. And his chest wasn't nearly
enough like a pillow. It was all too much.
The end of the book is torn out; there are marks of fire.
No one knows who defiled the Book of Steve,
but in some stories it is said that Eden has other quadrants
and that Steve is in one of them.
Steve, and the snakes with feet, and other people
who missed the next book: the roc preening its iridescent plumes,
the unicorn lipping apples, the manticore having a dustbath.
They say that somewhere among the leaves of western Eden
was found a helpmeet for Steve, who was not fruitful,
who did not multiply, who had no dominion over the earth.
Copyright © 2007 Catherine Carter All rights reserved
from Asheville Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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