I am on the cusp of something,
grasp the tail of it, lose my grasp,
hurry off to pick up the dog from the groomer,
pick a fresh papaya.
If I could get my teeth into my future,
I would be gap-toothed—with a space between
for slipping away.

I have an urge to sell my life off
chair by chair,
painting by painting,
shirt by shirt––
until, stripped bare,
I have only myself to sell
to the zephyrs,
dissolving up into the universe.

Or perhaps I’ll finish all those novels
on the cusp of completion
for 30 years or 20 or 10—
Every decade a new story begun,
attempting in the telling
to sow my secrets to see what they will yield.
Fame or disgust or apathy?
The problem with daring to surge ahead from the cusp
is that we find out for sure.

“She is on the cusp,” they are always saying.
“Why doesn’t she jump? We’ll catch her.”
My muses hold the net. How loosely?
Dare I trust them?
That time before the beginning so safe
that perhaps I’ll stay here
on the cusp.


The prompt word is “cusp.”

4 thoughts on “Jump!

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