Ancient Eve

Simin Behbahani
Persian
1927 – 2014

 

Love at Eighty?
Admit it: it’s bizarre.

Ancient Eve is, once again
offering apples:
red lips and golden tresses.
Beautiful,
but not divine.

If my face has color
it’s just makeup, a deceit.
But in my chest a heart
beats its wings wild with desire,
every seventy of its heartbeats
multiplied by two.

Love and shame and my body
warm with lust. I burn
with fever, a fever
past any physician’s cure.
But at my side is bliss,
my lover
kind and faithful
and as long as he is here
I dwell in heaven.

I can’t breathe a word;
my mouth’s sealed
shut with your kisses,
their tongues of flame.
Oh, my thirsty lover!
Look at my happy fortune:
You, I, us tonight.
with a wine so delightful
where’s the room for restraint?

Adam! Come see the spectacle.
Leave behind your denial and conceits
and watch as the Eve of eighty
rivals the twenty-year-old she.

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