Friday, March 15, 2013

(Poetic) Relief...?

Because I cannot stop thinking about that woman in West Harlem, about the baby who will grow up and have dreams of falling... or not:

JUMPER

One does not make the leap upward, not in this world,
as the first 9/11 victims found.
Praying perhaps for Up, they leapt...
or for the endless fall.
It did not happen.
And love is a sorry foothold
when you feel the distance multiply below.
Even children know
falling bodies gather the effect of mass;
but this is afterthought.
We choose to jump, not necessarily to smash;
when the abyss is open, love is just a fuck.

That first girl jumper—maybe she used to dream
about standing on the ledge, and then she would fly…
Love could have been that ledge, that sill—
A rope, a door, the bloody rags, a souvenir--
a tired meal, a tear
in the rotten bottomless bucket
of all the regrets she could think up in these panicky minutes--
someone else’s confession, because her own would be
pointless and boring,
would not provide the momentum she will need.

And you know, she may be thinking,
even if they find a few fingers and some doll bits,
they still like to put them in a man-sized coffin,
out of respect or maybe guilt
or embarrassment at the graphic horror a compact box might inspire-- the image of a John Chamberlain crushed car made of human parts,
vacuum packed.

Maybe she was able to fool herself, to admit:
You are the room from which
I choose to perch myself on the ledge of love
for nothing--
for the fuck,
for the useless freefall one could disguise as a launch
if the building was on fire,
and you can’t remember which one to pick,
Icarus or the one that sounds like death,
and blindly jump into that sun.


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