Precipice

By Jill Alexander Essbaum
The border
of a thing.

Its edge
or hem.

The selvage,
the skirt,

a perimeter’s
trim.

The blow
of daylight’s

end and
nighttime’s

beginning.
A fence

or a rim,
a margin,

a fringe.
And this:

the grim,
stingy

doorstep
where

the lapse
of passage

happens.
That slim

lip of land,
the liminal

verge
that slips

you past
your brink.

Where
and when

you
blink.

Source: Poetry (January 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2011
 Jill Alexander Essbaum

Biography

Born in Bay City, Texas, poet and editor Jill Alexander Essbaum was educated at the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.
 
Influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Simon Armitage, and Sylvia Plath, Essbaum’s poems bring together sex, divinity, and wordplay, blithely working with received forms and displaying a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Speaking to this unusual . . .

Continue reading this biography

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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