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For an Earth-Landing

 the sky sinks its blue teeth
into the mountains.
Rising on pure will (the lurch & lift-off, the sudden swing into wide, white snow), I encourage the cable.
Past the wind & crossed tips of my skis & the mauve shadows of pines & the spoor of bears & deer, I speak to my fear, rising, riding, finding myself the only thing between snow & sky, the link that holds it all together.
Halfway up the wire, we stop, slide back a little (a whirr of pulleys).
Astronauts circle above us today in the television blue of space.
But the thin withers of alps are waiting to take us too, & this might be the moon! We move! Friends, this is a toy merely for reaching mountains merely for skiing down.
& now we're dangling like charms on the same bracelet or upsidedown tightrope people (a colossal circus!) or absurd winged walkers, angels in animal fur, with mittened hands waving & fear turning & the mountain like a fisherman, reeling us all in.
So we land on the windy peak, touch skis to snow, are married to our purple shadows, & ski back down to the unimaginable valley leaving no footprints.

by Erica Jong
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