after She Shall Be Called Woman, George Frederick Watts
I am Eve, bare-chested, my hair a cloud about my shoulders,
the warm tints of Heaven on my upturned face.
My eyes are still fixed on the sky. Dust
of creation swirls around my belly and legs.
Birds’ wings flicker at my shins, chatter
in language I misunderstand.
Kinship, loss, Adam's nearby breath, a butterfly:
my own hands find all these things.
I know their names as suddenly as I know
I am alive
and men will fear the rage I hold nestled
against my hip even now.
Because I have felt his breath and the way it catches
resentful across a missing rib.
I fear what fields might be set on fire if I ever let go.
Duplicitous lilies press against my thigh and brush 
against my searching fingertips.
I step a careful foot into this flowering grass.
Barbara Muller Bowen is a poet living in San Antonio with her husband, cats, dog, and a bottle of Writers' Tears Irish whiskey.
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