English poetry

Poems in English

Climbing You

Climbing You

I want to understand the steep thing
That climbs ladders in your throat.
I can’t make sense of you.
Everywhere I look you’re there
A vast landmark, a volcano
Poking its head through the clouds,
Gulliver sprawled across Lilliput.

I climb into your eyes, looking.
The pupils are black painted stage flats.
They can be pulled down like window shades.
I switch on a light in your iris.
Your brain ticks like a bomb.

In your offhand, mocking way
You’ve invited me into your chest.
Inside: the blur that poses as your heart.
I’m supposed to go in with a torch
Or maybe hot water bottles
& defrost it by hand
As one defrosts an old refrigerator.
It will shudder & sigh
(the icebox to the insomniac).

Oh there’s nothing like love between us.
You’re the mountain, I am climbing you.
If I fall, you won’t be all to blame,
But you’ll wait years maybe
For the next doomed expedition.



Poem Climbing You - Erica Jong