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London Cherub

God says to Adam and Eve, “This time nothing’s forbidden.
You may have the garden and the fruit of every tree.
That tree’s fruit will give you knowledge of good and evil.
The fruit of this tree, even better, will make you forget.
Eat all you want. Let bygones be bygones.”
And so at once they go to find the wall
And the way out, eating as they go,
Burning as they go, going because just thinking
There is a wall makes them feel cramped. They cross
Rivers and mountains, seas, they find no wall.
They eat the fruit of knowledge and see the problem:
Without a wall, the world is all they have,
Crisscrossed by their progress, a vacant lot.
God reminds them, “Nothing is forbidden.”
They eat the fruit of forgetfulness, and forget.


“Outside” by Mark Jarman, which you’ll find in his collection Questions for Ecclesiastes.

I took the photograph of a lamp post near Piccadilly Circus in London.