Birth of Eveinspired by Judith Schaechter’s stained glass “The Birth of Eve”
When you broke through the womb,
shards of glass scattered, unearthed
your shriveled body covered in the gore
of your mother which now left you chilled
and stained. A world full of fruits—to pick
and not to pick. Who would tell a hungry child
not to eat when the pain hits their belly?
God laid you in a bed full of flowers.
The bugs crawled out of the petals, licked the blood
off your new skin like peeling an apple back to reveal
the sugared core. They buzzed around, whispering—
One day, you’ll be told to ignore the desires
of this body, sweet girl. This body is a gift.
Sharpen that extra rib into a shiv, run naked
through an orchard full of snakes. People
will say your survival is the original sin.
Ignore their narratives.
Climb the fucking tree.
In the marketplace, men
tie ropes around our hands—
call them bracelets,
beg for us to pay
though we never asked for this bondage.
My mother, my aunts, myself—
No men stick around
in my family.
This doesn’t affect sales. We carry fruit
preserves, each no sweeter than the other—
apple, strawberry, lemon
custards mixed with the blood
of our fingers. We pick each
seed out and toss it away,
afraid of the growth that can
take place inside a belly.
In the marketplace, I am
guarding my wrists—
a part in this play I’m obliged
to play, though there are no
jellies. There is no
My father passes me by, leading
a bull by the ring through its nose.
Micaela Walley is an MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Oracle Fine Arts Review, Gravel, ENTROPY, and HuffPost. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend—Chunky, the cat.
Artwork by: Sebastian Voortman