Nude Descending a Staircase

by Frances Hatfield

Imagine the scene
where the body plunges
through a plate of glass
in very slow motion,
the invisible wall shatters
into a puzzle of light, the shriek
of splintering shards winds down
to reveal a choral ode
both jubilant
and tragic

and let’s say you are the glass
and love is the body,
you can see
it coming and know
it won’t stop,
what chance do you have
against that immortal
weight set ablaze
by time,
and there are two worlds
you try to keep apart
with this marvelous invention
of yourself,
and who are you fooling
that you are made of something solid,
you are really only liquid light
fresh out from the fires
of your birth,
descending to earth
slower than the eye can see,

and now shattered—

the place you once stood
remembers wind,
the bed
will be baptized
by rain
as you fall,
by shining piece
into the abyss
that is the shortest
between us

(from Three Poems 7 Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, Volume 6, Number 3, pp. 5–10, ISSN 1934-2039, e-ISSN 1934-2047. © 2012 Virginia Allan Detloff Library, C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. ) 


About Frances Hatfield

Frances Hatfield is an advanced candidate at the C. G. Jung Institute in San Francisco. Her work has been published in Parabola, Quarry West, the Monterey Bay Anthology of Poetry, and Numinous. Her first book of poems, Rudiments of Flight, came out in October, 2012 from Wings Press. Correspondence: 340 Soquel Ave., Suite 104, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

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