Friday, February 26, 2010

the bottom line - a poem

All around me: white space
a canvas that vanishes
into infinite points
in all directions

I'm perched on the bottom line
dangling my feet off its edge
looking far as I can see
deep down into the white
up high into the white
around at all the white
trying to figure out where I should go.

I think about how I fell down here.
It caught me but I don't feel safe
as if this line could break at any moment
crumble beneath me

would I tumble endlessly
down into the white?
or be flung like a comet
traveling faster than light?

the silence here hurts my ears
I talk to myself to keep it from
creeping up on me
scaring me to death
I feel so alone
sitting here among the white

Where has all my color gone?
has a part within me died?
Or has it become lost within the white
wandering arms stretched out
until it falls
bleached into nothingness

I am afraid to leave the line
afraid of the white
but afraid of what might happen
if I stay

The line itself is rough
I run my fingers over it
discovering carved within it
the names of those
who have been here before
who have walked the bottom line

The whole line is covered in them
every single inch but one
a bare patch amdist the scribbles

I look around but laugh
no one is here
no one but me

When my fingers touch the bare spot
I feel it
it is painful
it is full of hurt
of despair
of sadness
so deep I can barely hold my fingers there
for more than a moment
it burns them

On the tip of my finger is a black scorch
but it fades instantly

The patch is gone now
and in it's place
my own initials

Hesitating I touch them again
they are cool and have not what they had before
a tear falls onto them

I didn't realize I was crying
my face rubbed red and raw
with dampened streaks
my nose equally in bad shape

but I feel better
and I find myself standing there
on the bottom line

it does not break apart
it does not crumble beneath me

everything around me is still white
I am still afraid
but I can't be here any longer
on the bottom line

I spread my arms and leap
My fingers extended
muscles stretched
I don't know what will happen
Maybe I don't want to know

But somehow

I'm flying

The white is no longer my master
I bend it to my will
shaping it and forming it
letters and numbers
notes and shapes
symbols and colors
it swirls and pulsates
and bursts with hope and promise

and when it all is done
I perch at the top

far below me
I can barely see
the bottom line
it looks so small
so infinitely tiny
that I wonder why
I thought it such a big deal
in the first place

but I smile
there is someone sitting there
I call out to them but they cannot hear me
they cannot see what I have done
I am too high up
they are too far down
a gap of so many miles seperates us

but soon I see them standing on the edge
waiting to take the plunge
and my heart leaps
with unbridled joy
as I rush to meet them
as they dive
like a falling swan
off the infinite edge
of the bottom line