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The Seeds of Eden
You start by living in the world;
then the world begins to live in you,
so it’s easy to prosecute the future
with the past’s evidence. No, sin isn’t
original, at least not anymore. What has been
will be again, what has been done will be
done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Wise, yes, but not all meanings mean you well.
Some stories rescue; some stories need rescuing.
Eden never was, but we took its seeds with us; each pulse
can sprout into a sliver of it. If Eden is a garden, we are
its flowers, and some will be obsessed with the rose’s beauty,
while others will focus on its thorn’s transgressions.
Some stories pull the floor from under you; others ask,
“You are falling? Take the ground beneath my feet.”
Look at all these unleavened lives, churches of collapsed lungs,
and hearts bombed-out by rain. Another word for “seed”
is “stone.” Let its heaviness sink into your flesh,
and watch how it climbs into its own hands.
Love is a full-tree even when it’s bare.
God gave us one breath. We can give each other
trillions. Something as small as a firefly says,
Let there be light. Something as tiny as a mustard seed
scoffs at mountains. Do you know how emerald our mouths can be?
How the tongue is a fruit you can bite into, fresh and guiltless.
How we are a blooming smile of crumpled petals—in a paradise
of regrowing faces—eyes opening to the new that’s old as time.
Andreas Fleps is a 29-year-old poet based near Chicago. He studied theology and philosophy at Dominican University, and his debut collection of poems entitled, Well into the Night (via Energion Publications) was released at the end of 2020. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as High Shelf Press, Snapdragon, Allegory Ridge, Passengers Journal, and Waxing & Waning, among others. Battling Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder since the age of five, he translates teardrops.
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