Bedford Heaven
Rachel Calnek-Sugin

I saw god
on the L train, in the translucent, holy
light coming back from Brooklyn. He winked at me
alone on those weird blue L train seats. I’m Adam. I’m Eve.
Hey baby, says god on the L train. Amen.
Please forgive me. Amen.

He gets on at Morgan Ave., and I see my face shiver in the window oh god
it’s cold in here. I have a dream where I am in the Garden of Eden and Eve
puts her hands on my hair and calls me holy.
An old lady in the bathroom says she likes my hair. God on the L train
says he likes my hair, and my eyes, and the milk of my teeth—all that bullshit;
you have to be more careful, my mom

tells me. I just like to feel pretty, mom.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to reconcile what’s right and wrong and what’s a man
either way, like what’s wrong with the simple veiny pleasure of giving somebody an erection
and whispering sweet bullshit nothings
into his warm cherry human ears so god can’t hear them.
Listen to me, god. Listen to me. I am Eve.
I am made from a rib I am Eve
planted and watered and growing. Call me mom,
my son, on the L train. Your motorcycle grease eyes are the same color as mine
and I know that you will be an embryo in my soft stomach, the holy
reincarnation of an angel stranger, the Bible man on the subway
who says the world’s gonna end, amen, and I’ll swallow god
so that he grows like a watermelon tree in my stomach. I’ll swallow and that’s the kind of bullshit
that makes a man happy. I said this is bullshit,
this is fucking bullshit, like doesn’t it seem like we keep on saying the
same things having the same conversations hi how are you I’m okay
what’s your name I’m Adam I’m Eve
I said does it matter? and he said, fuck yeah, it matters, and I looked
at the world with screaming eyes my eyes the only place to scream
kind of fuming I said whywhywhyWHYWHY and God
kissed me on the L train. Wanted to plaster His lips on the walls as
an advertisement or on the ceiling like the Sistine Chapel. I’m sorry,
I’m really, really, really sorry. Amen.
I know I’ve lied and been selfish. I know I’ve cheated and stolen. I
know I’ve been bad but holy shit,

I am saved by the translucent, holy light of God on the L train, Eve
the commuter, stealing bullshit from my mom,
steal it like a rib, plant it, god, and grow. Thank you for forgiving
me. Amen.


Volume Two, Winter Tangerine Review

Rachel Calnek-Sugin is 17-year-old poet (maybe) and playwright (probably) living in New York City (definitely). She loves avocados, parentheses, and writing about things that make people uncomfortable. Rachel is the recipient of Scholastic national medals, the three-time winner of the Write a Play! NYC competition, and has had numerous 10-minute plays produced in off-Broadway festivals. Find her at, lurking in the corner tables of coffee shops, or in the poetry section of Barnes and Noble.