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Pamela Garvey

The Commandments of Paradise

You will not crack.
You will not gleam
with want. You will not tremble
with uncertainty.
You will not zigzag.
You will not be sick
or crazy. You will not
veil, lie, gild
or brood. Definitely no brooding
or holding back
smiles or hitting
the walls. You will never
knock them down
with those dainty fists.
You will not resist
the names or jewels
chosen just for you.
You will not oscillate.
You will not frown, fidget,
fester or fend
for yourself. You think
you can fend for yourself?
You nothing, you mime,
holding out a hand
. . . to strike?

Eve Responds to Cain's Confession

Are the feral
Are the devotion of the river
fretted into rapids.
Are the outskirts
leaching the center
of faith in itself;
unbound book
of your mother's lap.
Are the tilt.
Are the winded
fields. Are
the monastery of the far-flung,
the nether-den.
Spawn of the shuddering harvest.
Cornucopia of questions.
The unliftable anvil. Hammer
to the Word. Are
uncoaxable, the never
graced, the grimed
and gravel ground.
Anti-ghost, anti-mirage,
the fleshy scripture
written in fists and hugs and blood
deep enough to drown a god
who will never understand.
Fronds blocking His light,
ferment to His honey.
Are the eye-level gaze
He'd love to blind into this beautiful
tumbling, spills scattered.
My one and only
unmoored umbilical.

Pamela Garvey’s chapbook Fear (Finishing Line Press, 2008) was a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Competition. She has published poetry in journals such as Cimarron Review, Margie, The North American Review, Pleiades, RATTLE, Sonora Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. contact