Ninth Night

Some years ago
I took on a
To listen for a different
Each night of Hanukkah.

I took the question from the Talmud
Mai Hanukkah? [what is Hanukkah]
I asked
To the sky the sand
To the wind.

I received a different tale
Each night

And the great surprise —
I received
A message

On the ninth night.

I enclose the
First and then
The most recent

Of the ninth
Night tales.

The earliest of the ninth night tales:

On the ninth night
an angel came to me in the form of the dope man.
He told a story about a score who came to buy —
the dope man wouldn’t let him in.

He makes me nervous,
said the discerning dope man.

Why are you telling us this story
and why on the ninth night? I asked.

You thought there were eight nights,
said the dope man.
This year you will light for nine.
You assumed ten energies
there are eleven.
You learned four ways of reading —
there are five
— four levels of the soul
there’s a fifth.

What kind of dope are you selling
dope man?

The kind you live for, he said —
everything that issues from the mouth of God

— the kind you can’t do without.

And this the most recent:

On the ninth night
An angel stopped me by the
Bus stop:

Light, the angel said
The blessing in singular

We are all of us
Radically plural
Singular and
This is your aspiration too –

I want you
And I want
To be wanted by you

I am you
And I want you
To be

jsg, usa