Christina Coates


Standing on a ledge of shale,
a peeling shelf of red,

the edge of the world;
I am here.

Below me are
folded belts of mountains.

I’m a statue of silent trembling,
frozen from fear.

I crawl
backwards at first.

I let go,
dust covers me

and little stones
pierce my knees.

Down the valley
eagles soar below,

plants grow in cracks;
a tiny yellow daisy smiles.

A trusty ficus and
bushes in crevices;

they balance me
on my hands and knees.

I want to survive, to find
a level. Then I see

the rocks have formed steps.
they lead me down,

to black ironwood and tamboti;
an umbrella space.

I am here on earth;
a heavenly place.

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