To arrive at Land’s End on a Sunday afternoon
You must make your way down to the cliffs in the dirt
And not worry about soiling your pink sneakers.
Someone will pass in a blue spandex shirt that reads “EMC²”.
Running at full speed in the late afternoon light
He will be a living demonstration of how energy is woven of light and mass.
Borders make us literal-minded, for the edge of a knife is a failure of metaphor.
Remember: this is Land’s End
And the laws of the day-to-day no longer apply.
A little white dog will make it to the edge of the cliff before you do
And see a labyrinth carefully laid out in small stones.
You will see trees along the cliffs polished to the bone, raw with longing.
Dancers in hysterical poses, they will lean against the cliff with their twisted branches.
To get back to the top, you will want to climb over the little waterfall,
Ballet your way around the mud, and shimmy onto the grass,
Carving your own path with your shadow.
But at Land’s End no one’s a trail blazer
And so you remain where you are
Until the rocks at the beach become pale pink
As if the earth were blushing
For letting you see the empty space between the earth and sky.
Your sister the artist taught you: there is nothing worse
Than leaving the sky bereft of color.
You, only you, are responsible for filling the empty page.
But she hasn’t been to Land’s End:
At the edge of the continent
Your figure cuts into the elegance of empty space
Diminishing the vastness of the sky.
This is vaguely indecent, and so you flee.
Running at full speed in the dying light
You rush back home to your dishes and books
So you could forget the smooth pale skin of the earth –
The ocean spray, the rocks, the perpetual irony
Of spruce fragrance in the late afternoon –
And finally get on with your life.