Asymptote

When people envisioned a flat earth
And the falling off beyond
What feeling came into their throat?
A closing off or choking up
Palpitations of eagerness
At what might meet a body in the end?

Staring out at the mountains, the ocean,
the expanses of California
puts me in mind of death, the wind rushing past
my ears. A precipitous drop off the edge
of the world. Closer, closer,
a waning of expectations
amassing imminence.