CLARA BENSEN
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EDEN

We went skinny dipping on a dare    

The third night we met

In the shallow creek that runs behind town

Near the spot Jim's tractor got stuck

Two springs ago, I think

         Cypress lined the banks

         With giant, sprawling roots

         That reached to grasp the tempest

         Of underpants and socks, carelessly tossed

I was unsure how it would feel

To strip

Before a man I barely knew

But I found the starkness

Easy and exhilarating

Our bodies the same variation on a theme

Of god-breathed bones

And dust

         We invaded the creek bare-bottomed

         With a volley of obscenities

         I shrieked at the cold, but you dove right in

         And when you surfaced

         The moon must have been angled

         Just so

         Because I could see inside you

         And what I saw was good

         Like god in the beginning

I swam towards you then

And dark rivulets encouraged the way

I climbed in your arms

Innocence entangled

Without hesitation or pause

We were Eden's first loves

Who knew nothing yet of sin

Naked in the cypress garden

         And god said it was good