Lilith (I)

I’m as real to you as a plastic dinosaur,
yet easily enough you believed in my serrated teeth
sunk into Little Charley’s throat. A mankiller.
I am one of those women, you believe,
with frozen milk in her breasts. That’s merely
what you say; what you know is that I am on fire.
My brightness blinds your eyes, lets your heart
feel the fear mine does not know.

I cast aside Adam, God’s boring little puppet,
a laminated excuse for a man, hung with a pollywog.
My laughter turned him greenish, my scorn
a railroad spike to him and his maker.

Let them imagine me astride a broomstick.
As if I would! When in the world there roam
cougars and wolves, apes and pythons.
Hang a street sign on me that says fallen woman,
and keep your flashlight on in the dark.
Watch awake all night. Let morning find you
groggy, yawning into your grits and predictable toast.

Eve knows me. There’s more to her than you imagine.
Even if you drink your coffee black, even
if you suck lemons with salt, you will still fear my blood,
the shape of my footprint, the swirl of my veil,
my holy of holies, the roar of my truth.


[Rebecca Bailey is currently a ranger with the National Park Service. She taught writing for more than a decade at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has published six books, most recently the poetry collection Meditation Upon the Invisible Ceremony of the Breath (Finishing Line Press). She’s recently been published in SageWoman, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Arts Perspective, Canyon Legacy, and Moab Sun News. She lives in Utah and Idaho.]

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