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Laura Riding

I stood once at the tip of the earth,
Feeling myself no longer still,
But tossed with it about the sun
In an exquisite insecurity.

Behind me
And the clothes of my sobriety
And people.

Before me
The sky
Parting like a curtain
Upon the ecstasy of all the universes beyond.

Oh, who was my unknown lover, there at the edge,
Come like a cloud to me,
Too large for my beholding?

I threw back my head for him
And he loved my throat
And brushed the tips of my breasts
And caressed my whole body,
Making me giddy with the sense of myself
And of the space about me
That was my lover.

Had I perceived too much?
Had my lover wearied of me so soon?
Or were my feet too quiet,
Planted perilously on the tip,
Too safe for leaping?

For the sky dropped again before me,
Formal and final as the end of a play,
And my words came to me again
And clothes
And people
And one among them, one of all others,
Who put his arms about me
And paid a ceremony to my lips
And to whom I answered:
I love you.

What else could I do,
Planted at the tip of the earth,
With my blossom lifted to the sky?
What else is left?

I will get me a child,
Another to yearn at the edge,
Better beloved than myself, perhaps,
Less secure, perhaps.

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