To Tears


By Angela Just

In the painting by Elder Cranach,
she offers iconic fruit to Adam,
hiding another one behind her back.

As if it were a breast,
he cups the apple she holds
so near his cheek and mouth.

The deer is looking at us
as if to say, o my god, o my god.

The serpent is close enough
to whisper stop—or go.

The lion’s intensity says he
has a bet riding on this.

One day nothing is interesting
anymore and you have to take
things into your own hands:

why not endow the simple
curves of nude and fruit
with nuance and narrative arc?

In the long discussion after,
we’ll ask if Adam fell first blush
for this conspiracy of contour,

or, if world-weary Eve with fall-back
apple hidden, needed to give him
one more chance to get it wrong.


Angela Just used to work with marketing 3 p's—Product/Price/Promotion. She has since upgraded to Poetry, Photography and Piano. Her photography has appeared in Fifth Wednesday and her poetry in Free Lunch, MAKE, Sow's Ear, Flyway, and After Hours. She belongs to the Chicago writing collective Egg Money Poets.