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“Adam & Eve at the Tree of Masochism” by Jennifer Bradpiece

“Adam & Eve at the Tree of Masochism” by Jennifer Bradpiece

If I said Eve liked it, you 

might not believe me.     

If I said Adam wanted it,

you would flush and turn your head.

In any case, they looked up.

Silver bloomed everywhere.   

The bound leather trunk stretched 

out like sutures over 

the sappy bark.

He pierced his tongue

so he could be one with the tree 

any time of day.

She drove a barbell

into her labia

so she could tilt her pelvis

up towards the flog tassels 

weeping from the tree

in bunches.

Neither was dom.

They took their orders

from God, after all.

Would you rather Adam

touched her cheek?

Would you rather

Eve sat quietly

and disappeared?

Oh they set to work

eviscerating themselves

on the tall reeds that grew

beneath that tree.

Each cane stroke

a multi-tiered revelation:

Exhilarating shimmers 

echoing through the sky 

like hawks.

There was supposed to 

be a snake.

Maybe its bite was a catalyst 

when the pain split the sun 

and rolled God’s eye

into focus.

Maybe the snake said:

“The only way out isss through the ssskin.

When you bypasss the body, 

you misss ssso much…”


Maybe God’s laugh was

so awful and other,

Adam swore it was a growl.

Perhaps, as Eve stretched,

metal in each soft fold,

hanging her torso 

backwards down the rough tree’s skin

towards the Earth

like a rack of lamb,

Adam, in his confusion,

mistook the surge of power

for ecstasy, for salvation.

The emphasis fell 

on fear, on limits, on rules,

and naming.

And it could be that there, 

in The Garden

of nipple clamps

and wax hot sap,

they forgot their shared language,

and set about 

erasing each scar

and cauterizing the sacred bleeding

and attempting paths

around the skin towards the sky.

And the snake slept silent.

And God’s voice grew muffled,


Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, California, where she still resides. Despite chronic pain and illness, she tries to collaborate as often as possible with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including Redactions, Mush Mum, and The Common Ground Review. She has poetry forthcoming in The Bacopa Literary Review and Moria, among others. Jennifer’s manuscript, Lullabies for End Times will be released in early 2020 by Moon Tide Press.

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