To Adam, From The Plants And Animals – Arden Hill

We were, before you were.
We had our names before you
decided what they were.

All you gave us was insight
into your own ignorance
your own inflated sense of self.

Oh, not God, you confuse
comprehension with creation.
While you were made in an image,
we were made to be nothing
but ourselves.  You say “dandelion”
but the stem knows the palatable yellow
of its own flower better.

Oh, future father of Columbus,
go discover something
everyone else already knows
exists, like the sky.  Decide that
fire is “fire,” Adam, naked monkey.

At night the one you named Eve
calls herself Lilith, comes to us, and listens.
Why didn’t you ever ask us any questions?
How did your faulty ear decide we were dumb beasts?
Adam, we could have told you the truth of everything
or, at least, what God calls you behind your back.


Arden is the author of a chapbook, Bloodwater Parish, that delves into, race, gender, sexuality, and adoption in southern Louisiana. His work has appeared in such publications as Willow Springs, Western Humanities Review, the Lambda Literary award-winning anthology First Person Queer, and its sequel, Second Person Queer, The Nebraskans Against Gun Violence Homepage, Tupelo Quarterly (disability poetry folio), Strange Horizons, and Kaleidoscope.

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