After Eden

By Rachel Wetzsteon 1967–2009 Rachel Wetzsteon
Somewhere Zeno was smiling, the foul
goblins of paradox were wearing
their fairest clothes that night. My Dinner
with a Chainsaw, the evening could have
been called; and when one too many led
to wise judgements too few, “I’m trying
to break up with you!” he shouted as
stockings and scruples flew; and what was
over wasn’t; the brutal doings
were sweeter than a caress; the thrill
of it happening and the horror
of it being an awful mistake
collided like sweaty bodies in
the dark, disheveled room. So this is
moving on, she reflected after
he left. But what was motion? No straight
bright line but a wind every bit as
stormy as the people it carried
away from safety, through towns that froze
and burned, helping them forward but not
letting them forget for a second
their ceaseless looking for what is lost,
their sad resemblance to the quick and
stubborn arrows that never arrive.

Rachel Wetzsteon, “After Eden” from Sakura Park. Copyright © 2006 by Rachel Wetzsteon. Reprinted by permission of Persea Books.

Source: Sakura Park (Persea Books, 2006)

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Poet Rachel Wetzsteon 1967–2009

Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, Break-ups & Vexed Love

 Rachel  Wetzsteon

Biography

Born in Manhattan, poet and editor Rachel Wetzsteon received degrees from Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University. She made her home in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which is the setting for many of her formally assured poems. Influenced by Charles Baudelaire, Soren Kierkegaard, and Philip Larkin, Wetzsteon infused her urban and emotional landscapes with a dry wit. As critic Adam . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, Break-ups & Vexed Love

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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