Archive for July 21st, 2007

July 21, 2007

"The Lip of Everything”

Here we are at the lip of everything.

You brought me to the plateau’s edge with sure steps. I would have turned back if not for such a firm path to follow. Footprints only guide my own steps; I cannot bear the whipping sand and dust when I bring my head up from a groundward gaze.

The seasons will change in moments, and the canyon below will roar with red wind. You say we’re light enough—and the wind will be strong enough—to carry us aloft.

What comes next no one has said.

Maybe the gale will carry us off to some other canyon. We’ll spend the winter there, and return when the seasons turn again. Maybe we’ll be too heavy and fall below the streams of red dust rushing through the canyon—down below hope. And maybe the wind will have mercy and set us down gently at the foot of the steppe.

Have you ever been this high? I can breathe the air so easily, despite the wind and the dust. Here it moves past you; at the bottom it hangs all around. This is glory.

You step off before I can say another word—so fast I can’t see where you’ve gone. Stepping to the edge, I don’t see you falling, but you could already have fallen below the red windriver.

Here I am at the lip of everything. Everything I stand to gain, everything to lose.

I’ve heard no worthier gamble.

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