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Bildungsroman

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 © | Year Posted 2017




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