One morning all the seams separated:
first the Chinese box given by her mother
its jewelry spilling in a great yawn over a chest of drawers.
Then the walls of the house split at right angles, moaning as it happened.
Whole sides crashed down, exposing furniture and appliances
to the elements and the family (not yet dressed)
scrambled to cover themselves like Adam and Eve in the garden
as if they too had caused the destruction
by giving in to temptation or asking too many questions
Perhaps they had simply refused to go along (though with what
was not clear, even to them)
Moments when no explanation suffices, either you
believe or you don’t. You hear the snake offering
and you reach for the apple
So beautiful, so red, nothing else matters.
Carol V. Davis is the author of Because I Cannot Leave This Body (TSUP, 2017), Between Storms and won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, she taught in Ulan-Ude, Siberia, winter 2018.