What you are must always displease you, if you would attain to that which you are not
by Erica Jong
Smoke, it is all smoke
in the throat of eternity. . . .
For centuries, the air was full of witches
Whistling up chimneys
on their spiky brooms
cackling or singing more sweetly than Circe,
as they flew over rooftops
blessing & cursing their
We banished & burned them
making them smoke in the throat of god;
we declared ourselves
"The dark age of horrors is past,"
said my mother to me in 1952,
seven years after our people went up in smoke,
leaving a few teeth, a pile of bones.
The smoke curls and beckons.
It is blue & lavender
& green as the undersea world.
It will take us, too.
O let us not go sheepishly
clinging to our nakedness.
But let us go like witches sucked heavenward
by the Goddess' powerful breath
& whistling, whistling, whistling
on our beautiful brooms.