A Dark Chasm, Not a Bright Abyss

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“Show me now your way, that I can know you” (Exodus 33:13)

For you, I will draw myself
on your face, whisper my name

straight into the whorls of your ear,
teach you the delicacy of each

created thing: crack open the seed,
set the squirrel’s beating heart

into the palm of your hand— So
wrap yourself in fringes, strap your faith

to your right hand, whisper the thirteen ways
I will always forgive you, slowly, out loud,

because no man can see me and live.
So, if you must see me,

there is the rock you can stand on: the stone
from which you were formed,

sand colored and flat. Balance
yourself there and I will move

over you like your mother’s hand
grazed your infant body, slope above

you like an umbrella in the naked sun.
I will score the rock into the socket of an eye

and place you gently there inside
and you will know me

as the unmistakable shadow of a dear friend
you recognize from behind.

Listen to this poem:

 

 A Dark Chasm, Not a Bright Abyss by Rachel Heimowitz

 

Photo Marble Shell [Explored] by Riccardo Cuppini used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND-2.0)

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About Author

Rachel Heimowitz is the author of the chapbook, What the Light Reveals (Tebot Bach Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work was recently a finalist for the COR Richard Peterson Prize and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. She has just received her MFA from Pacific University. www.rachelheimowitz.com.

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