I died every day

on the sorrowing cliffs,

a wolf pack closing in,

things I knew and believed in,

ordained, then tossed over the edge.


Prophecy was nothing, and shelter and bread

connected to this tortuous trope,

turned comfort upside down and spat

upon my flush face with all the vigor

of a personal enemy.


I fell asleep near the cliffs, woke up and wondered

why I was left here – still alive, no rescue in sight –

thinking of a helicopter, an angel, an army of

hunters or even a large helium balloon

to grab onto and ease my descent.

But I stayed near the cliffs, hearing the pack,

seeing their eyes through the undergrowth

but never feeling their jaws at my flesh

and never crossing the barrier into the abyss.


I stayed on the edge and waited as though I was

already in my grave, and I thought – is this

a purgatory punishment? A loop etched in linear

time, a fire on my back that burns and burns

but never consumes?


I am not sure if I am sleeping.

I am not sure if I am truly alive or a ghost

destined to repeat an unending horror,

wandering through the same torment.


I am ready to see, close my eyes, nearer, nearer, and leap,

be dashed into fragments or be vindicated, either way,





Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Medusa’s Kitchen” September 2020




You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


Leave a ReplyCancel reply