CLIMBING THE LADDER
When the bolts are shot,
the seals which lock the mind removed,
you will be tempered.
If you cannot prepare by day, then at night.
Choose a lonely hour and tell no one.
Wash your linen. Sit in your closet.
Withdraw from the seduction of your face,
your skin's anxiety,
the blast of your desire.
Take ink, pen and write.
When you begin imagining the Name,
discard your tablet.
Return to your body.
Eat, drink, put on white.
It fits to fear your journey.
Naomi Feigelson Chase
From Gittel, the Would-Be-Messiah
A Novel in Verse
Published by Turning Point, 2005
This is the hour's coldest, the month's dog,
When pavement turns to frazil ice.
Why wait for a miraculous birth.
A collop of the sun, rouged for hours,
The cat won't budge
From her kind hamper.
Fall into Greenland's water,
You won't come up again.
The horse of the sun comes riding.
The boy scrambles from his chamber.
I am the chamber, the boy.
It is not only my life I must answer for.
This is my last white coffee.
This is retribution.
White horse, your face is flushed.
There is black grease below your eyes,
Like an athlete's,
This story is made up as I go,
A silk lie, a stained
Wedding robe, a red lined cradle,
Black breath on a mirror.
It ends. It never ends.
Copyright, Naomi Feigelson Chase
Pubished in Harvard Magazine