Sistine Chapel, The Creation of Adam
"The religious ideas of Christianity [. . .] are impregnated with the majesty of fatherhood."
Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals (1929)
Lounging on verdant green,
newly emerged from God’s
uterine dream: Adam in repose.
Unclothed, his skin glows
like burnished gold. His angled
chin, hairless as a boy’s, and soft
his youthful gaze. But a man’s muscles,
in firm ripples, from shoulder down
the extended arm, flow. Wrist,
elevated to form an elegant arc,
and the hand hovers in ignorance,
yet, of the chasm, the infinite distance
between two fingertips. And the small
penile gesture plainly in view. God,
His touch withdrawn forever. Draped
in white like light spilled from a pitcher,
He beholds from above what He has made
below. His blue-grey beard blows back
like curls of smoke. Young Eve held back
in reserve, locked under divine
arm amid a crowd of cherubs.
The whole assemblage—God and his
manifest—contained in a red swath
of cloth whose folds, nudged by infant
heads, belie the myth of heavenly birth.
Cracks in plaster like wrinkles in paper
crease this man-made universe. All is rent,
unlinked, but woman-marked: Note Adam’s navel.
Brook J. Sadler
Brook J. Sadler: "In 2019, I was honoured to be a Featured Poet at the Dali Museum Poetry Series in St. Petersburg. My writing has also been supported by a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and workshops at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, among others. My poems have been published with many literary journals, including The Greensboro Review, The Missouri Review, The Cortland Review, Boiler Journal, and ROAR. My prose essays appear in Ms. Magazine, Pleiades, Aquifer: Florida Review Online, Women's Review of Books, and elsewhere. I also publish scholarly essays in many academic journals and books."
The Ekphrastic Review
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