Land’s End

— Mia Ayumi Malhotra

Hedge grass, juniper. The cliff bares
its back teeth. Stone-faced, you slip
a black knot over your wrists, fuse

the ends with flame. How many times
have you stopped short, breath
jerked from the throat? To lose

yourself in the fall; to have lost it all
to need, affliction. Crank the heart’s
ugly lever, set the machine back

into motion. The bronze star points
north but never resolves. North-northwest,
east-northeast. May you find your way

by its burnished light. Here, take this
talisman of good faith. A handful of
broken rocks, bullets for the journey.

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