Sulfur Water, Crystal J. Hoffman

Sulfur Water cover art by Tamara Fakhoury

Light cracked as God told the first
holy lie. His sweetest story gone sour,
he despaired, closing the garden
gates for good. Turning his back,
he told it again, without words,
via negativa, as it should have gone.

Then the lie split in two,
an unwilling tear that fell hard
inside Eve's stomach
to prod its splintered halves.

God quaked and called the prodding
play and the tearing children.
He felt their faces like a bruise,
as Cain discovered “dress up”
and Abel took off his skin
to let millennia slip in—

how mankind would think,
kill, poison, preserve
meats with salt, and stack stone
skyscrapers. He watched
their small hands raise skyward, altering
skeletons into magnificent winged
lizards that he never created.

-- excerpt from "Shattering of the Vessels", from Sulfur Water

About Crystal J. Hoffman

Crystal J. Hoffman was raised by a biker and a truck driver in the woods outside of a dead mining town. This explains why her most important accomplishments to date are having been reprimanded for climbing trees on three continents and nearly freeing a monkey within one week of assuming her first full-time teaching post. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arsenic Lobster, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, Strange Horizons, Whiskey Island, and WomenArts Quarterly. She cofounded and directed the TypewriterGirls Poetry Cabaret with Hyacinth Girl Press editor Margaret Bashaar for five years and spent the past year inducing the Cabaret Voltaire spirit in the Middle East while teaching creative writing at the American University of Beirut. Today she studies psychology, Kundalini, and the play-time rituals of her niece and nephew.