Sinew spun over precipice,
shroud long since abandoned
       to storms weathered and won
as jagged promise rubs raw,
stone into flesh to erase all space between.
Ancient, unlikely, bound by pulse and flow.
For want of love or lust or simple breath,
tainted tongue of reason dripping
       sour upon sweet fruit not meant for your lips.
Tread gently on volatile ground,
poised for crack and scalding fury.
This is not your path,
this westward trail of broken shells,
      fragments in decay.
Face to where shadows fall behind,
sparse sunlight shredded lace-like
as crumbs for a starved soul.
The bargain for life sways weightless now,
innocuous in its calloused husk
      and pledged to carry forward,
though compulsion echoes from each hollow,
crying for promise never delivered.
Here, it is hunger that satiates,
driven deep within to flush out longing.
Curve to curve and twisting limbs,
      bathed in sap coursing from darkest roots,
the primordial forest is your haven,
earth-bound and arching skyward,
molten tremors thrumming below.
Give way to rocking quakes that drive ancient beds
      into mountains,
split clay drawn and quartered in a dance from the first itself.
Spent and new, though unseen tangents cling fast
      to the antecedent that burrows still within,
a simple flutter of silky wings to fan air into lungs
and permit to breathe once again.
                                by Sarah Goldman