Dan Bellm





First evening prayer

It is possible
even in the darkness—

no, it is 
more possible—

that is when your messenger
comes to me,

who has walked unappearing beside me
like starlight in the day,

angel that lives in the dust
of the earth, and knows

the distance of time, and the terrible
space between one human

and another,
that can hardly be crossed—

in the dark the messenger
cries, lift 

your eyes up—
what I am dreaming I am seeing,

it is coming to be—
and climbs a coil, a rope, 						

a spinning ladder
that is the way

into day
in the night,

a place of God I didn’t know,
here at the foot of it,

the root of the tree,	
not for me to ascend

but to pray to you in the dark,						
that you have brought down

the infinite to me
when my head lay on a stone,

one earth wheeling
among the millions of your stars.

Vayetze, Genesis 28:10–32:3