(for Gretchen)

The thing about knowing about gravity,

(this is a hard thing not to know),

about skinned knees and errant ground balls and

legs broken after launching from stairs –

is that sometimes when you see the body

suspended, mid-air,

(the cliff or the dock or the rooftop behind),

all you can think of is the heaviness

of our bodies, all that water and blood and bone,

and the inevitable cruel meeting

of the hard ground, or the cold lake, or the roiling volcano –

(all the endings you think you know


But when you don’t know

about the inevitability of gravity,

the willful, insistent, the insatiable earth,


you can see the body,

limbs out like a baby’s in startled surprise

at the beaten path she’s left behind,

arms stretched wide

and open

to the rest of the world,

to the untrammeled sky.

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