When Adam Falls from Sleep

Adam pulls a rib from the darkness,
breaks it in two. He stirs
the ashes of the fire, adds sloe berries,
honeycomb, great handfuls of clay.

When he is done the night is somehow smaller,
and one creation comely,
with rounded curves of hip and breast.

The other creation is formless
and will not hold together. He breaks it
into smaller pieces and tosses
the lot into the underbrush.
All evening the leaves are restless,
and he feels the movement of eyes along his body.
At dawn he finds nothing
of what he cast away-- the pieces
have disappeared with the stars.

He moves closer to the smoldering fire,
the warm clay that calms his fears.
When he wakes that form has also left him.
He studies the dirt in the lines of his hands.
His mind won't stop dreaming, though he is afraid of sleep.
On the eve of some great change,
he can't shake the feeling of being observed.
If only he could think of a name to call out
in his sleep, perhaps she'd return to him.
When Adam falls from sleep, he knows to call her God.

Brent Fisk has recently won honorable mention in Boulevard's Emerging Poets Contest, the Sam Ragan Prize from Crucible, and he picked up a fourth Pushcart nomination this fall. His work can be found in upcoming issues of Prairie Schooner, Fugue, and Debris among other places. (brent.fisk@wku.edu)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761