The Brink

written by Ali Alizadeh

The Brink

— Ali Alizadeh

I sat at the brink
of the precipice. I massaged

my frosted toes
before the leap. My fingers

hard as marble, about
to crack like crystal. I knew

my own story: excess
in an auburn, tropical place

tanned people, and their
casual debauchery. All

smothered now, under
this cloak of fragmented ice. My feet

didn't dangle off the edge
of the cliff. They were more stiff

than frozen rock. My breath
steamed when I remembered

the abundance and heat
of my past. Moist beaming faces

I used to dance with
at youth festivals, when love

allured unconditionally. Now
expectant ghosts of friends,

sad guests at my ceremonial
plunge. I wasn't sad. I yearned

to fall from the harsh parsimony
of the desert of snow. I found

that my blood was flammable
after my demise. It leaked

then gushed from the broken
crevices of my body. The spark

provided by the projections
of a shaken mind. Blindingly golden

flames heaved from the mess
of shattered organs. I felt warm.

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