Haute bourgeoisie amble down the avenue.
Toupees, umbrellas, billowing skirts rise
skyward, swirling swiftly in currents
like plane tree leaves stripped by hand.
Winds as straight as the tree’s slim trunk
scrub gravel between railway lines: a softer
landing for those who bolt off platforms
into nothing stouter than a smoky ale.
Before the Fall, Adam could choose only
good. He thumb-wrestled the serpent,
scraped off a few scales, then picked up
Eve’s already plucked fruit. “Hmmm, not bad.”
Not bad, but evil, as it turns out, the dormant possibility
made real in an act of will still free at first bite. If only
he could have envisioned the cost. If only in the shade
of the tree, rattled by the wind, his conscience had bloomed.