Benjamin Gonzalez

1994, Berlin
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Genesis

Disdain the serpent
and let us lie
still on this bed—
The sheets still wet
your heavy breath
your naked chest
your little death
my hand on yours

The room is dark
a yellow glow
behind the blind
the dogs who bark
fall silent
so do we

As if we die
our fleshs slip off
droop down each others side
As if reborn
the we turns I
and you —
my hand on yours
we lie

Disdain the serpent
as the yellow glow
breaks in. Rest still
the blinds are shut
the sheets still wet
I turn to you
I smell your skin
I kiss your chest
there is no death
as long as you rest still

It’s Eden, can’t you see?
The crinkled cloth
our naked fleshs
all things are named by us
The love, the dogs, the night, the glow
we gave them all their name
the smell of skin, of seed, of flesh
their names we gave them all

Did you forget? It’s Eden
No sin, no shame, no guilt, no pain
Did you forget?
be still

I loved to love
and I can see
that you and I
were one—
that you knew me and I knew you
and in these sheets were one

It’s our garden
our cell
no evil that belongs in here
do not forget
I beg you
do not begin to want to know
do not rise from this bed
the glow breaks in
the blinds are shut
be still, do not forget
no evil does belong in here
don’t long to know, I beg

In our cell
in our love
what need is there to know?
All things there are
are names we gave
there’s you, and me
and us, the sheets
the dark
your naked chest—
your heavy breath
the smell of skin
the once-warm flesh
my hand on yours
you see?
In our love
in our cell
there isn’t more to know

Behind the blinds
there lies the night
and silent dogs who guard
our cell, our love. No guilt, no shame
break in.
Rest still
beloved

Disdain the serpent!
Don’t forget
don’t move
don’t leave these sheets
don’t trust that writhing glow
there is no need to know
don’t move
don’t rise
your cold hard chest
your hard pressed breath

Disdain, disdain
no guilt, no shame
don’t rise up from this bed
don’t ask
don’t ask
don’t ask, I beg
it’s our cell, our love

The serpent tricked the silent dogs
the blinds are gone
my love—
The night is now a yellow glow
the serpent, she is here
disdain, disdain
the sheets turn cold
beloved
she is here

And can’t you hear?
My pounding heart?
My only tear?
My begging not to leave?
The serpent offers you her fruit
beloved
where’s your hand?
Do not, I beg you
do not ask—
the yellow glow floods in

A crinkled cloth
the dark stained sheets
my empty hand
somewhere

Disdain
it is
too late
disdain
day breaks
you’re gone
you know
we fall—
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