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Painting by Phyllis Kriegel

Stepping from the blackness and blood-red hollow of the tree
—–she juggles—not one, but five
———————————-round apples. Beside her, Adam
—–whirls clumsily in mid-air—
————————————-hips over head, arms and legs
—–askew—as if he, too, had been tossed up
into the blurring spiral.
—————————–He tries to steady himself with a foot-
like hand against the trunk, his hidden face at eye level with
—–a single glowing fruit
——————–cradled in the open palm
————————————-of her right hand,
his mouth seemingly at her fingertips. Red head tilted toward
—–him, she looks down at the gift
———————————-from the corners of her squinted
eyes, superior in her new knowledge.
——————————On her lips, the seed of a smile. …
While in the bottom right corner, half out of view, shrunken to
—–half their size, a featureless flame-red devil
————————————–leaps away, serpent’s disguise
shed, his work undoing here—for the moment, at least—done.

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