Ramble

Written By: Will Cordeiro

Tramping slick fresh footsteps by lips

of sheer deep drops, after slipping out

 

from overtime past a last underpass & off-

ramp, lifted up a rifted cliff-face I’ve come

 

to, limping near the blunder of graffiti-riffs

& palimpsests (rain-stained, pal; piss tested)

 

of tags spawned by the broke or broken

-hearted who’ve sprayed these recursive

 

curses on a squared-off scumble of shale.

Without belay, hands take a frayed, make-

 

shift flapping tackle-block someone’s hung

about. Give myself slack to learn the ropes;

 

without chalking up, sidle down

margins of bolus to a bellied tip

 

of overspill into a trash-scored

ditch: scraps, canker, quondom

 

tires, blops of plastic, condom

boxes: weathered gloss of loess,

 

& ruckus over the fallout’s rockfall:

I lope, outleap the overlapping jags,

 

skirting discard, driftwood. Crushed

Pabst & Schlitz cans can be hurtled

 

 

down its mouth, a hobo-huddle,

some bum cave the RRs blasted:

 

groping underhanded handholds, tumbled timber

rims & notches, cracked crotches, crusty crutches,

 

lopped outcrop & brambles, limp fire-damaged

stumps, lumps, leaf-gunk, & junk I stumble over.

 

I’m stunned beside a vast, evaporating prism:

a whole waterfall that dissipates in risen spray.

Will Cordeiro received his MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University. His work appears in Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Fourteen Hills, Harpur Palate, Phoebe, and elsewhere. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is a faculty member in the Honors Program at Northern Arizona University.