The Stages of Grief:
*Stage 4, DEPRESSION, will debut elsewhere (as did Stage 2, ANGER).
The first section of this poem was written many months ago, after I dreamt – several nights in a row – that my lover was lying to me and cheating on someone else (never doubt your intuition, kiddos – it turned out to be true). These dreams took place in the garden of Eden.
Over the last few days, I realized that some of those previously composed lines about Eden should be woven into this new work.
So now we wrap up the series with a poem inspired by the fifth and final stage of Grief (as modeled by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross), ACCEPTANCE…
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” — Mary Oliver
It is a little-known fact
that the first words
Adam ever spoke to Eve were,
That was fun, and you are very lovely,
but when is the next female coming along,
and when will I be able to lay with her?
This was the original sin,
which fertilized the eggs of
heartbreak and self-doubt.
Primordial woman, newly minted,
was already made to feel that despite her
novelty and perfection, she was not enough.
After we had flirted by phone for some time,
he hinted that he would like
to know my measurements.
I texted the circumference of each womanly swell and dip,
the all-too-important invisible rings
surrounding my heavenly body.
His response was simply,
Well, you’re no Marilyn Monroe, that’s for sure.
He then went on to say that I was probably cute, though.
We had never spoken of the famous blonde before,
yet here she was, invading both our conversation and my mind.
Here I was, already being compared and not measuring up.
It was the first sign of his superficiality and callousness,
the first offense of many.
But that never stopped me before.
In the garden of Eden, Eve died while choking
on a lump in her throat, which wasn’t a wedge of apple,
but the initial stone of rejection.
Even as a child, I subconsciously sought out
the cruelest male in the playground.
My crush was always the mini sadist —
the boy who sat alone in the grass
silently pulling the wings off some delicate insect,
simultaneously admiring and destroying it.
No star in the universe is any less resplendent
for having remained unseen
by human or telescopic eyes.
Stunning and miraculous,
both in life and during a cataclysmic firework death,
the majesty of each is absolute and requires no validation.
And I am no less spectacular
for having gone unloved or unappreciated
Well, you’re no knight in shining armor, that’s for sure.
But I never needed one.
A magnificent star in a distant galaxy
explodes and begins its slow death,
and I step into my greatness.
I am not Eve, I am not Marilyn,
and I don’t wish to be either of them.
I am the goddess of my own garden,
where disrespect shall never be
tended or tolerated again.
Within this space of honor and beauty,
I stand solidly in my truth:
to love myself, as I am,
is my right and my source of strength.
As there was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be,
worthiness without end.