Eight Angels Came to Me On Eight Nights
Each one told a story**
The second night
the Chernobler Rebbe came
dressed as an angel in Japanese embroidered silk.
Are you a man or a lady? I asked him —
there are so many more possibilities
said the Chernobler laughing out loud.
The Chernobler Rebbe reminded me
oil is wisdom
poured over the head
of the Priest King Messiah
overflowing like precious oil on the head
running down the beard of Aaron.
The pure finely-beaten, most excellent of the olive oil —
the olive that releases its finest product when pressed.
Smell this, said the Chernobler Rebbe,
pressing his wrist to my nose
another quality of oil
the capacity to absorb.
I smelled yasmina
When I make perfume the scent is absorbed into the oil —
then distilled. Wisdom
is absorbed from the world this way
— both its beauty and its contaminants.
Now, said the Chernobler Rebbe,
one small vial of pure oil
when fired up lights everything.
Wisdom when it is tended burns pure
burns long burns sure.
We are all in the game —
attaching to the pure
resisting the contaminants lurking
everywhere around us within us.
The Chernobler was chanting now
O God — a heart of purity create in me
bind me to the purifications
separate me from the contaminants —