The First Night

by Linda Annas Ferguson

He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.

Genesis 2:21

As we lie
side by side,

my fingers search
your back,
feel the jagged edge

of the rib you gave
in your sleep
to make me.

For this night
I want
to put it back,

until I am
bone of your bone
and flesh

of your flesh
and you feel whole again.
In the morning

I will open the wound
so gently
you may not hear me

and tiptoe
out of the garden.
Linda Annas Ferguson is the author of five collections of poetry including Dirt Sandwich (Press 53, 2009). She was a featured poet for the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon Series. Her work is archived by Furman University Special Collections in the James B. Duke Library. She was a finalist in the 2008 Brockman Campbell Poetry Book Award of the NC Poetry Society and the 2007, 2008, and 2010 Oscar Arnold Young Book Award from the Poetry Council of NC.  Her work was nominated for two 2009 Pushcart Prizes and the Best of the Net Award. Most recently, she was a finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award. A native of North Carolina, she now lives in Charleston, SC. More information at:

This poem first appeared in the book Dirt Sandwich, published by Press 53, and is reprinted with permission.

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