Shame - Simona Chitescu Weik

To feel guilt or disgrace, to lose esteem 

or reputation, or be the unfortunate

recipient of circumstances; to be bashful, 

to cover oneself; an attempt at modesty;

or surprisingly, synonymous with private parts. 

It began this way:  when noticed, the nakedness 

in Eden yields the first blush, the quick 

sewing of leaves, the terror of exposure, 

a grown man and a grown woman, birds 

of paradise, trepidating to re-assemble

their plucked feathers, but not in the same

configuration, for what human can remember 

the garments of innocence? From there, it is 

called ignominy, humiliation, or some who thought

such a shame i.e. pity or misfortune, but after

the fig leaves dried and the animal skins tattered,

after the trek east and the settling, the coupling

and multiplying, the uncovering and covering, 

it began to abate. New words re-formed

all things from galaxy dust to human skin, 

and lovers began whispering to each other 

fernsterln, German for entering through a window

and making love to your sweetheart, 

while her family in the other room 

doesn’t know. Or silm, the Anglo-Saxon word 

for the dampness between a woman’s thighs, the same 

as for the shimmer of moonlight on water.


Around the Table - Terri Farless