Magazine article The Spectator

The Serpent Beguiled Me

Magazine article The Spectator

The Serpent Beguiled Me

Article excerpt

Following Eve, you look for apple cores

Along the riverbank, tossed in the mud.

Following Adam down long corridors,

You swing your torch to look for spit and blood.

He got his chest condition when he learned

Contentment made her curious. He thought

He was enough for her, and what he earned

Would keep her pinned while he played covert sport.

Alas, not so. She claimed that privilege too,

And even, under wraps, nursed the same pride

In taking satiation as her due

A cue to call herself dissatisfied.

That rate of change was coded by the tree

Into the fruit. The instant thrill of sin

Turned sweet release to bitter urgency:

His fig leaf was flicked off, and hers sucked in.

From that day forth, the syrup she gave down

Smacked of the knowledge that she felt no shame. …

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