Some say myth, I say real.
Eve did the crime by taking the apple.
Adam aided and abetted by eating it,
then later claimed he was seduced,
as if God would accept that as an excuse.
The tale must be true because it keeps
occurring. What I don’t understand
is how we know the apple was an apple
and not a peach or pear or plum.
I don’t recall the Bible being
specific, don’t remember seeing
Red Delicious or Granny Smith
in the Old Testament. So who’s to say it wasn’t
a Waldorf salad with chopped walnuts, dressed
in a light vinaigrette; they were
in a garden, after all, and had an eclectic
menu, at least six different kinds
of lettuce, waiters in white loin cloths, wooden
sporks clacking softly against stoneware bowls—
maybe a little tree-climbing music harping
in the background. Ah, the life of luxury
we could have had! All our troubles
might have been avoided if only Eve
had offered the man something less
desirable, an olive, perhaps,
so sour, so oily, instead of the apple,
so deliciously red, so tempting.
We might have had a different history,
perhaps an extra extra virgin
version pressed between our pages, a history
we could be more proud of, one without sin
or need of God, a world where we could just be
a bunch of naked vegetarians, rooted
in an overpopulated Eden, leaf-gazing,
waiting for the tomatoes to ripen, and
asking if other gardens like this exist
beyond the heaven around us.
From Armed and Luminous (forthcoming).
Used here with the author’s permission.