East of Eden

Somewhere about a mile east of eden I laid in the grass and read “East of Eden,”

The words paralyzed me for about four evenings,

The way Steinbeck made his characters come to life,

The California wine, property, and their double lives,

I guess I always felt like I could relate,

You live so many double lives they cut you in half,

Until you have none of yourself left,

I always feel the same way,

That’s why I can never put that book back on the shelf.

 

When emptiness fills all of you,

Bones, joints, blood vessels, heart, and organs too,

That’s when you suffocate and die inside,

I’ve lived so many lives,

I don’t know if I have any life left,

I’ve had so many lovers,

I don’t know if I have any love left.

 

On my first day out in Eden, highlighting metaphors from “East of Eden,”

A blonde hair girl came to sit next to me,

Hair as yellow as the sun that was fading away into the moon,

Eyes as shiny as the moon that sat above the stars,

Skin simple yet reflecting every story the stars told,

Lips sat on my neck like the stars sit on the dark sky,

All of our hopes and fears aligned,

We drank wine until our livers disappeared like the setting sun,

Until all ambiguity had reached its death and oblivion,

She told me the how painful it was the way she was raised,

Father who broke glass with his rage and raged against anything as fragile as glass,

So she looked for some redemption; wanted to find another man who could be what he could never be,

That man took advantage of her when all she wanted was his honesty,

Now sometimes he follows her around and the courts won’t do a thing,

She has to smile and doesn’t say a word to anyone,

A heart bent in so many ways it can’t just break,

She lives so many lives, she doesn’t live at all,

She feels so much pain, she doesn’t feel at all.

 

So she picked up the book and read the paragraph I was highlighting,

And she said: “How does he know everything about me?”

I said: “I don’t think you are alone as you think you are”,

I put my fingers on her shaking lips,

“I don’t think we are as dead as we think we are”.

 

She ran away then,

She didn’t want the pressure of another life,

She ran away then,

Somewhere east of eden and permanently into the night.

 

And then on that second night East of Eden, finally putting down “East of Eden,”

A girl with black hair and blue eyes approached me,

She was like an oil slick in the middle of the bluest sea,

Her skin was as soft as the shore and in her words I was drowning,

Water flowed through my eyes and went straight to my brain,

And as she told of her heartbreak,

I told of her of mine almost simultaneously,

So many life stories were told just in our two lives,

We began to almost harmonize,

The birds whistled and sung along at the same time,

Then it ended and we kissed,

And she asked me if I was the one for her and she was the one for me,

I said I didn’t tomorrow which self I would be,

It’s hard to know who you are in the mirror when there’s always new scars appearing,

It’s hard to know which life was meant for you when that life isn’t up to your choosing,

But then she lifted up her dress and said “Well does who you are tonight want who I am tonight,” her question sounded like a plea,

And we made love all night,

Until Eden wasn’t to our East.

 

We woke up the next morning, her breast attached to my ribcage,

I thought all of our other’s lives were going to be sentenced to death by the summer heat, thrown in a cage and disintegrating to the beneath,

But then she picked up the book and read a passage out loud to me,

Slammed it to the ground and said: “Is this what you really think of me?”

Blue eyes drowning me, I didn’t know what exactly to say or how to reply,

I said: “I only think what you have shown me and you have shown me how to be alive,”

But she still walked off,

Somewhere back East to the Eden we had found ourselves in,

Somewhere back to the double life she had been comfortable in,

Somewhere where we couldn’t begin again.

 

And for the next two evenings east of eden, I thought about my last night I spent in Eden,

With that illusion that out of my ribs a utopia could be born again,

But as I shoved off the tall grass that was burying me,

I saw a snake slithering in the tree that covered the city streets,

I realized that you cannot escape your hell,

So you must make a heaven out of your suffering,

And for everyone that has had a double life,

Just remember the heaven you get out of living twice.

 

 

 

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