Adam Gnuse was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Guernica and Gambling the Aisle.
At night, Adam comes in from the woods with warpaint on his face. The father of man cannot control his children. He walks towards the light of his cabin and runs his hands through the tall grass, trying to clean them of blood.
He is tired and anxious, but when he enters the cabin, the hearth is blazing. His wife lies by the fire, and she eyes him expectantly. He goes over to her and glides his hand along the swell of her hip.
Ever since Eve sat beneath the branches of a pomegranate tree, wearing that look of warm contentment as she nursed their first child, he has never seen her worry as he has about the future. Since then he no longer can talk to her of abandonment—that terrible silence hasn’t frightened her, not since she sat and listened to her child’s steady breath. She doesn’t understand why Adam continues to worry about death, and why he’s still resentful.
When making love, Eve cries out. “Oh, God! Yes! Oh, Lord God!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Adam says, stopping.
She snorts. “What do you think?”
Adam gets up and leaves the room.
“What?” she calls after him.
Adam goes outside into the darkness. Already he feels foolish. He stops, rubbing the wrinkles on his face, and listens for the shouts and screams of battle in the distance. He imagines he hears a fire crackling beneath the calls of cicadas.
Adam wonders what it will be like to cross over, to die. He wonders whether it will be like going back somewhere dark and warm, somewhere safe. Whether it will it be something like growing up. The thoughts don’t comfort him. He rubs his hands through the tall, moist grass and wonders if there will be anything at all.