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A Page from the Apocrypha

  • So God throws Adam and Eve out of paradise
  • but they don’t slink away wailing and ashamed
  • like the characters in Italian frescoes.
  • Instead, Adam turns and says, “Ah, You big lug.
  • I’ve been eighty-sixed from a lot better places than
  • this king-sized salad bar.”
  • Eve starts to laugh, something she’s never
  • done before since there’s nothing funny
  • about perfection.
  • Adam winks at her and laughs, too.
  • His hand smoothes her hair. Hers touches
  • his chest. All of a sudden they’re kissing
  • and looking for a place to lie down.
  • It’s chilly, the ground is brambly and damp,
  • but they don’t care. They’re in love.
  • Not the God-kind, all infinite numbers and
  • tranquility. But the human-kind, perilous
  • and messy, the kind that makes you want
  • to live forever.

Ron Koertge is a two-­time winner of the PEN USA Literary Award for Children’s Literature and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in recognition of his achievement in poetry, which is widely admired. Koertge taught for many years at Pasadena City College and currently teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of several award-winning books of young-adult fiction, a few of which are written in verse. He lives with his wife in Pasadena. This poem appears in his most recent collection of poems, The Ogre’s Wife, published by Red Hen Press in 2013. Red Hen Press has just published Sex World, a collection of Ron Koertge’s flash fictions.

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Unwrite This!
  • So God throws Adam and Eve out of paradise
  • but they don’t slink away wailing and ashamed
  • like the characters in Italian frescoes.
  • Instead, Adam turns and says, “Ah, You big lug.
  • I’ve been eighty-sixed from a lot better places than
  • this king-sized salad bar.”
  • Eve starts to laugh, something she’s never
  • done before since there’s nothing funny
  • about perfection.
  • Adam winks at her and laughs, too.
  • His hand smoothes her hair. Hers touches
  • his chest. All of a sudden they’re kissing
  • and looking for a place to lie down.
  • It’s chilly, the ground is brambly and damp,
  • but they don’t care. They’re in love.
  • Not the God-kind, all infinite numbers and
  • tranquility. But the human-kind, perilous
  • and messy, the kind that makes you want
  • to live forever.

Ron Koertge is a two-­time winner of the PEN USA Literary Award for Children’s Literature and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in recognition of his achievement in poetry, which is widely admired. Koertge taught for many years at Pasadena City College and currently teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of several award-winning books of young-adult fiction, a few of which are written in verse. He lives with his wife in Pasadena. This poem appears in his most recent collection of poems, The Ogre’s Wife, published by Red Hen Press in 2013. Red Hen Press has just published Sex World, a collection of Ron Koertge’s flash fictions.

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