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Forbidden Meliea Black

It began when I was very young…

From the first time I twirled in my new dress at school

Feeling the thrill of the ruffles making a circle around me,

I learned that I…that my body…was dangerous.

“Don’t do that again. We don’t let boys see our underwear.”

Shame and confusion.

I just wanted to feel beautiful.

As I grew I learned that my body was cursed by the first sin,

By the “first woman” who was too weak to resist the talking snake

And the temptation of the tree.

I learned that life is a series of forbidden trees and forbidden fruit

That are always in the center of my world in order to help me

Prove my love and devotion to a god

Who would always demand my allegiance while also

Always challenging it.

With men, I embodied the forbidden tree.

My fruit was not to be touched or tasted.

But I was also the snake who had the power

To lure, to seduce and to induce sin.

My deep and vast roots could cause him to stumble.

My fruit could cause him to commit adultery in his heart.

I didn’t ask him to gaze at me

But it was my fault that he did.

Shame and confusion.

I just wanted to be loved.

It was my duty to tend my garden.

It was to be beautiful and tasteful

But not too lush or desirable.

It was my duty to know which one single person

Could enter my garden for always and forever.

And once he was in, it was my job to produce fruit for the earth

Which would ultimately prove

The worth and value of my garden

And keep him happy within its borders.

Anything beyond that made my garden a wasteland.

It was my duty to tame and control the weeds of desire and curiosity

And that tree in the center that I was not to touch was

overflowing with ripe fruit

That I always wanted to taste.

I couldn’t stop wanting the fruit.

I couldn’t stop the serpent from offering over and over again.

I had been placed in a paradise

That was really just a reality show that I could

Be dismissed from at any moment.

As my garden bled, cramped, ached and labored

I accepted this as penance for my weakness

Her sin was my sin and her price was my price

I deserved this dis-ease and pain

It was my curse to bear

It was the way to be woman

Shame and confusion

I just wanted to be whole.

And it would take me years of undoing

Of deconstructing and reconstructing

To see myself not as the tree or the serpent

Or the garden anymore…

But as the river that ran through it

As he lightning and the thunder that balanced its atmosphere

As the morning dew that kissed it

As the sun that fed it and the moon that illuminated it.

And as I dismissed the serpent

And the god who sent it

I stood in the shade of the forbidden tree

And I finally let “her” enter my garden

And I tasted the fruit

And declared it “good”

And accepted the knowledge of good

And saw for the first time that the evil

Was not coming from me.

Pleasure and Ecstasy

I am loved and I am whole.

I am not the garden or the tree or the serpent

I am all of creation

I am the fire, the earth, the waters and the air

I am not dangerous.

I am not forbidden fruit

I am the love, goodness and knowledge of

The true creation story.

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