I teeter on the edge
Of a crumbling cliff, beneath me
Is nothing but cloud and indistinct shape,
A bird or two, laughing at my wingless back,
My songless throat. I spread my arms
As if they had feathers, and taste the wind,
But my feet are planted on shifting gravel.
Behind me, another wall, pushing closer,
Impenetrable force, I have nowhere to go
But out and down, down, down.
Toes at the edge, dry mouth, nothing to swallow.
He said he’d be a swallow, if he were an animal.
Focus. The horizon spreads wide enough
To swallow me whole, to inhale
My tiny universe. Hands trembling, I think of home,
But where is home? Is it the desert,
Where tumbleweeds chase you down the road,
Or is it the pendulum- deathly winter one minute,
Blossoming paradise the next?
My breath catches in my throat. The wind
Dries my eyes of tears, and always that wall.
I am stalling, and everyone knows it.
I consider jumping. I consider it for a long, long time,
But I can’t see the ground through the clouds,
And I am still not a bird. Pebbles roll and fall
Off the edge, pushed by the force that threatens me.
I do not hear them clatter on the ground.
Maybe there is no ground, and if I jump,
I’ll fall until I die of old age.
What a joke for the fates to play on us.
I think and I muse for too long; the wall at my back
Leaps forward and I am thrown headfirst
Into the abyss.
Copyright © Little Sperling | Year Posted 2017
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