The Burning Ladder

Jacob
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,
missed
them mount the brilliant
ladder, slowly disappearing
into the scattered light
between the stars,
slept
through it all, a stone
upon a stone pillow,
shivering. Gravity
always greater than desire.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poetry

The latest from america

Pro-life Democrats “probably” support “90 percent of the policies that our party stands for, but we can’t continue to support a party that gets more and more extreme on abortion and ignores human rights in the womb.”
Kevin ClarkeJanuary 28, 2020
Catholic Charities USA condemned the decision, calling it “harsh and unnecessary.”
Ryan Di CorpoJanuary 28, 2020
Secondary school students get to work in September at the Matteo Ricci school in Brussels. Photo courtesy of Matteo Ricci.
Jesuits in Belgium wanted to launch a new school that would reach less-affluent communities, but they were also keenly interested in connecting with “people from different cultural and religious backgrounds.”
Melissa VidaJanuary 28, 2020
Feelings are not political agendas and many of these celebrities are intertwined in our memories in ways that bypass our frontal cortex.
Aly WaneJanuary 28, 2020