Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Burning Ladder

never climbed the ladder
burning in his dream. Sleep
pressed him like a stone
in the dust,
          and when
he should have risen
like a flame to join
that choir, he was sick
of traveling,
          and closed
his eyes to the Seraphim
ascending, unconscious
of the impossible distances
between their steps,
them mount the brilliant
ladder, slowly disappearing
into the scattered light
between the stars,
through it all, a stone
upon a stone pillow,
shivering. Gravity
always greater than desire.

–Dana Goia, from 99 New and Selected Poems

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