Stephanie Woodman

No Gift For Me

Eve spent years licking water from the fingers of Eden,
                   Before she suckled the fang of her snake.


   With my lips,

              I breathed lust into a man.
   The hips
              of a rose.
         smeared with honey,
                 lavender oil.
     Thighs of
               gilded gold.

Eve did not share willingly.

Soon, arms that reached
               Around his waist
                   like oil,
                   and fell,
                             my lips grazing
                                  hot, whetted scales.
          The sweet syrup
                   dribbled down my chin,
     plopped onto tile,
                   splattered and burned my feet.

They say
  Nipples hang low
             so that the child may
                  not strain.
  Hips are made wide
             to give rest,
  The heart made to beat,
             to comfort,
     to settle. 

But the claws of the stork
             were sharp.
A talon plucked the rose,
             The honey gummed its wings,
                         Its beak ripped my nipples skywards.

Juice from Eve’s lips
               dripped and wetted my cheek.


With my lips
               I breathed dust into a man.
    Empty bones
               crackled and snapped.
    Skin powdered
               with ash.
    Thighs shake
               And collapse under
                      their impotence.

For the stork had no gift for me.

-Inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s Femme qui marche

Stephanie Woodman is a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. Her earlier work can be found as part of the 27th Annual Friends of Ferguson Poetry Competition winners guide, though that was early in 2012. Since then, she has not pursued publication. She enjoys the sciences, with a particular dedication to the research of sleep. In her free time, she eats with a certain passion, or can be found sleeping off a food coma.