Jewish Journal

Poem: Jacob After Fording the Jabbok

by Sharon Dolin

November 13, 2013 | 4:54 pm

All night long I
wrestled with an angel — his face
obscured by hair the color
of light — arms, strong thin
swords           we tumbled
on the road as two animals
in the heat of spring — we could not be
parted — bless me, I said — and he touched
my thigh — the hollow of my thigh
and my desires were parted: the upper
from the lower — as in my dream
of angels going up and coming down —
I strove to master desire with
force and I was mastered
by his blessing — as a woman
by the strength of her loving foe —
as a man by the hollow
that divides him from himself.

Published in “Heart Work” (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1995).

Sharon Dolin is the author of five poetry books, most recently “Whirlwind” (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). She has been awarded the 2013 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress.

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