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This poem is part of our 2015 fund drive bonus issue! Read more about Strange Horizons' funding model, or donate, here.

This is how it was for Lilith, first-born
human daughter of the Lord, first wife
to a man whose name was mud:

She was born into the orgasm of life,
the entire world stroking her towards devotion.
Thereafter, she spent the rest of her existence
searching for the exaltation of her first breath.

She thought that Adam had felt it too—that he
recalled the rapturous breath of God upon his skin,
remembered standing in the glory of Creation,
filled with the ecstasy of living. She hoped
that together they might reassemble
enough parts to make the whole of it,
to recreate the awe of entering the universe.

But he did not know, and he did not remember,
and his idea of pleasure was so small it bored her.
And that was why she had left Adam and the Garden
behind: he did not remember the feeling,
any more than he could redeliver it.

Every time she returns to Eden, after years
of searching for slivers of satisfaction, she sits
beneath the Tree of Knowledge. She touches
herself, eating of its many fruits: peaches, mangoes,
pomegranates, and figs. She is trying to find
the one that will teach her how to return
to the Beginning.




Julia Burns Liberman is an artist who lives in Malden, MA with three hockey players and a large collection of rocks. Her art can be viewed at pelagielladesigns.tumblr.com. This is her first published poem.
Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
半透明の大江さんが洗面所から出てきて、いつもと同じようにテーブルに向かう。見えない食パンにバターを塗り、見えない新聞を片手に頰張る。まるでパントマイムだ。私はフローリングの床に座り込み、一連の動作を眺めた。
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
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