A long bridge of books and paper

spans the gorge. You have gone

ahead and vertigo is a hand clasped

round my ankle, with the gravity of flesh


suspended in air. Old books

are roped together. Their hard spines

dig into my soles. The side ropes

are the papier-mache of bad


poems. A heart worn on a sleeve.

At my first launch I left behind a

layer of skin. On my hands the scent

of words. It has rained lately, and now


the wind bites. Your back is almost

out of view. I want to sit down –

a small huddle in the swinging air –

and let the paper decompose and dry


to scatter on the wind. Vertigo climbs

me hand over hand. I have not looked

down to see the roaring chasm nor up

to the eucalypt sky. Across are the rocks


of Cataract Gorge. I follow my eyes

along the backs of my hands, knees

abraded by each volume’s edge. There you

are at the other side, shrinking the distance.


From GDS #14