Eve Oh Eve

by Taslima Nasrin

Why won'tEve eat of the fruit?
Didn't Eve have a hand to reach out with,
fingers with which to make a fist;
didn't Eve have a stomach to feel hunger with,
a tongue to feel thirst,
a heart with which to love?

But then why won't Eve eat of the fruit?

Why would Eve merely suppress her wishes,
regulate her steps?
Subdue her thirst?
Why would Eve be so compelled
to keep Adam moving around in the Garden of Eden
all their lives?

Because Eve has eaten of the fruit
there are sky and earth,
because she has eaten
there are moon, sun, rivers and seas.
Because she has eaten, trees, plants and vines,
because she has eaten of the fruit
there is joy, because she has eaten there is joy,

joy, joy--
Eating of the fruit, Eve made a heaven of the earth.

Eve, if you get hold of the fruit
don't ever refrain from eating.

translated from the Bengali by Carolyne Wright and Mohammad Nurul Huda


these days i am inclined to be like, eve, you've eaten the fruit once, please do me a favor and lay off. i don't think i can take anymore of that sweetness, that sky, that earth, those vines, this heaven and its joy.

perhaps these days i am stuck with my white male anglo friend mr milton who has lucifer say:

To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Hean'n.

methinks this is founded in a little uncertainty. when i am away from this place of confusion, and instead in the realm of confidence, perhaps i will sing along with taslima and eat along with eve.


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