Poe in the Garden of Eden: Upon the Loss of Innocence (Same ol' same ol')

Melissa Thompson

Issue 3 * Summer 2000

The bleeding arms of your disaster welcomed me like a demon. Your voice of evil rang throughout my night like the echoing heartbeat of a murdered old man. The desire you felt for me has been quenched, has it not? The lust that once burned within has been tampered with, has it not? The regrets I feel cannot be expressed by words, for the meaning is incomprehensible.

The vision of your death came to me in a dream. I was slithering around the Garden of Eden and then I saw you. You were talking in a twisted tongue to a German fellow. He told you in hushed voices that you were what everyone wanted, what everyone needed. I tried to warn you not to listen, not to believe, but you had already bought his lines. And I slithered back into my cave and counted the dewdrops on my flower petals. I lost track around seven hundred. But did you notice your trusty companion was gone? The tree in which I napped fell over and trapped you. I wanted to save you, but something held me back. The tree crushed your leg and you cried in the piteous voice. I could not help but weep.

And night came.

And day returned.

And slowly you wilted to death.

I could not help but weep, yet a feeling a strange feeling of joy overcame me to see your eyes opened, clear, and tranquil. Your eyes were as blue as the petal on which dew fell, your skin as pale as the tender belly of a baby, your pose as graceful as a trumpeter swan. All this, yet you were gone.

I awoke when the alarm went off, and instantly I thought it odd I had not woken up earlier. You have always had this intoxicating effect on me. Everything came second to you. You must think me mad to rant so. But I'm fine, I tell you, I'm fine. You have no choice but to listen to me. It's not as if you can move without my help. There, there. I didn't mean to offend you. You were always the touchy one. Any little thing could set you off.

I remember once the flowers on your mantel died. I had given them to you for your still-life study. I had hoped you had kept them so ill for aesthetic purposes. I had no idea you were trying to kill my flowers so you could pretend you were killing me and crushing me. Nothing of mine deserves to be crushed. But the flowers symbolized our love, I had thought. I now realize it was just a symbol of my eagerness to serve you. I was such a child when we met. You always had more experience than I; you always had the more correct answer. But you can't leave me behind now. No, I've solved that problem once and for all. I don't think you'll be leaving me for anything now. Sure, you're not as much fun dead as alive, but you're certainly more dependable.