Night Two

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 chuckling.

The Chernobler Rebbe opened —
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. Just this way
wisdom is absorbed from the world
— both its beauty and 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.

O God — a heart of purity create in me [Ps.51:12]
bind me to the purifications
separate me from contaminants —

Beginning now.