The Edge of the Falls
I wander the edge
down the sands of the long shore
where waveless lap their premonitions
delphic things of wind and meteor
in whispered tongues
I cannot comprehend
I walk along the edge
footing the pebbled places
by the nave of the swollen river
with its benches of rosary voices
murmuring the moon beads of water
to an eddied ritual
longed for and withheld
Striding the edge
I move from stone to stone
uneasy in the stepping balance
as with foaming tongues of water
the dark-turned torrent chants
lamentations of memory and river
that thunder in my bones
and I must know what is said
I hurry, on edge
leaping from boulder to boulder
balancing on this lip of motion
where the white-fanged rapids holler
threnodies at seekers of comprehension
phrases in a violence of water
uncaged syllables that hunt
the discourse that they utter
and, yes, I hear, I want
I am running on the edge
the ashen-faced rim of the falls
high on the circling abyss
where the banshee of the last inch skirls
requiem for my headlong metamorphosis
words bound to watery chords
shrouding my dissolving clay
falling words
and I know what they say
Oh, I know what they say

© 1997 Jess Morton