Thursday, August 26, 2010

the adam sentences

The Adam Sentences
a poem in three parts by Troy Cady

I. History

I lack memory
not because I lost it
but because I never had it.

I have no history,
no story beyond
mine to recount,
no heritage to reclaim--
only a future
that comes as a promise
which feels like a threat,
a terror,
the perpetual teasing of a messiah
long in arriving
after the falling
when all and nothing was lost
and all were lost.

Just wait with no one else to remember.

Now here in old age--
shy one thousand,
sighs two thousand--
Abel yet cries out,
still a fabled shout.
My wish for a father--
Still I wish for things that
are not possible,
cannot be,
because I am the first.

Blessed are those that inherit a curse;
to inherit is to have something precede.
Let me inherit a curse.
Let me out of being first.
That would be better for me than
this reaping of sounds growing dimmer
and sight becoming duller,
just the serpent’s timeless hiss that
signals nightfall--both nothing
because no one has gone before me.

I have no way of knowing why I did what I did,
no soul to lend counsel.
I have the wind that came before,
but no breath.

God, I will be happy to take the blame,
blest to be cursed.
You may even grant me a perfect forefather, if you wish--
someone who didn’t stumble.
I promise I will still fail you.
Just let me out of beginning.

Death has been cruel
so death will be nice;

it has been
a long beginning
with no history.


II. Childhood

To begin grown
is to groan

for play missed

my childhood
briefer than mist

This does not excuse my actions, but I had no childhood.

Play would be a nice memory, I think.
Discovery was never part of my education.
I am better acquainted with unlearning innocence
than possessing it.

Maybe joy was there once, but I have simply forgotten.
Since I cannot remember, it is as if it never was.

Childhood never was nor is nor is to come.
I was grown and am grown;
I could not nor cannot wait.
Can one become a grown child?
Can I learn to wait and play?
I have waited too long.
I think not.


III. Two

Three stories tied into one would be nice
for then I should be like God.

But, my story?
My story is told twice,

I am double-minded,
and doubtful;
and self-spited.

In a world made for days
that begin at dusk
I am light followed by dark,
act first
and potency second.

I should have died then lived.
I was not made for devolution.

This is why it is better to count me
as two strands than one rope,
two threads
bound together by disintegration.

Nor ash nor dust,
I am both.

Which Adam?
I am not one.
That is my problem.
There are always two of me but no us.

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