As at the Far Edge of Circling

       As at the far edge of circling the country,

facing suddenly the other ocean,

the boundless edge of what I had wanted

to know, I stepped

      into my answers’ shadow ocean,


the tightening curl of the corners

of outdated old paperbacks,    breakers,

a crumble surf of tiny dry triangles around

       my ankles sinking in my stand


taken      that the horizon written

by the spin of my compass is          that this is

is not enough         a point to turn around on,


       is like a skin      that falls short of edge

as a rug,     that covers a no longer

natural spot, no longer existent

to live on from,    the map of my person

        come to the end of,       but not done.


        That country crossed was what I could imagine,

and that little spit of answer is the shadow—

not the ocean which casts it—      that I step next

into       to be cleansed of question.


      But not of seeking      …it as

if simplified for the seeking,

       come to its end at this body.

Ed Roberson, "As at the Far Edge of Circling" from To See the Earth Before the End of the World. Copyright © 2010 by Ed Roberson.  Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: To See the Earth Before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press, 2010)
More Poems by Ed Roberson