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Adam et Eve (1909)

BY ERIN STOODLEY

El Camino High School at Ventura College, '16
2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors' List


After a six-month love affair with composer Erik Satie, Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938) left him. Satie had developed an obsession with the painter, artist’s model, and former circus acrobat, writing Valadon love letters regarding “her whole being, lovely eyes, gentle hands, and tiny feet.” 
 

He who notes these hands gentle has never
felt the weight of the metal

base of oil she guards against her breast, feet
tiny has never slung his own

blisters upon a trapeze, nude beneath
the heaving fluorescence

in preparation for the fall.
It is inevitable: the apple always picked

by gentle hands, the garden
always trodden by tiny feet.

Let’s revisit the foxtail: the snake in the grass
has the face of a woman.

She slips through the clay roots, scriptures
sin into Eve’s hips.

             Now imagine the companion
instead: his loin ivy-strung to conceal God’s

cocked gun, fingers pinched, the muzzle, a threat,
guiding Eve’s wrist to the blood-ripened flesh
.  

 

Wheatfield with Crows

BY ERIN STOODLEY
 

El Camino High School at Ventura College, '16
2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors' List


for Vincent van Gogh
 

The crows rise, shadows within
the husk of dusk.

Woven through harvested rows, two
drunken boys play Cowboys and Indians,

their father’s gun slung, shouldered.
When the bullet finds its body

in yours, a god longtime lost,
you stare into the wheat and replace

the naked, wind-red faces with the last
flaxen stroke.

The crows have separated
after their sermon. The boys have gone

home to sleep, griefless.
Now, the backdrop of night descends.

You leave the easel beneath
the chestnut tree, the wind slipping

through the bandage of your skin.
When you arrive,

the innkeepers blot your stomach,
between each rib.

Blood dries into paint as they
mistake sacrifice for sin
.  

 

 

Erin Stoodley is a student residing in Southern California. She has been recognized by such organizations as the Anthony Quinn Foundation, Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, and the National YoungArts Foundation. Her poetry is published or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Belleville Park Pages, and Euphony Journal, among others. Erin plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.