First Wife



Madwomen, Lilith, breezes in-

to the world of flesh, navelless,

made of Adam’s lesser dust, she

falls into the buzz and hustle

realm of animals.  Daemoness

from the willow tree, queen of night

she never dreams that  before her,

her husband loved a quadruped

or, some have said, took to his bed

another man.  In her original skin,


his wife takes  pleasure in a garden

lacking only insight.  One restless

morning wakes, unholy boredom prompting

her to ask:  Why be a proper housewife?




Never a proper housewife, Lilith

lacks not just domestic art, but

tact, has to cajole her husband

not to force her to her back


but let her straddle him in love like

the Greek witches do.  Nervous Adam,

answers, no, gives Lilith a reason 

to invent the marital harangue—


to scream out all God’s secret names—

and show her scorn for deities and men,

declare her faith

in skin and hands.  She hymns


not Adam but his body, sings

her joy in velvet fruit, but not the tree.




What’s left of her first joy except

the way she questions

all her ex's ways and all his names? 

Why call them elk or silkworm

kangaroo or trout?


Beside the Red Sea, Bruha, Strega,

End of all Flesh, she doesn’t wait

for answers, finds salvation in

resisting angels, loving her daemon lilem,

worshiping lascivious hands.


Around her pious men seek heaven;

frail men love disgrace. Mad Lilith

shows them all their God’s true face.





Lilith was deathless, made by God before man’s Fall. 

In one story, Adam raped Lilith when she refused to make love in the ‘missionary’ position.

In another, Lilith ran away to the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons.  God then sent angels to fetch her back home. When they found her, the angels said 'Return to Adam without delay, or we will drown you!'   To this Lilith replied, `How can I return and live like an honest housewife, after my stay by the Red Sea?? 

Bruha, Strega, End of all Flesh, demoness from the willow tree, queen of night: other names for Lilith.

Lilem: her deamon children





Leda's Vision
by Gary Simmons