Prompt 9: Gravity



Sometimes I dare myself

To stand close to the edge


fear reminds you that you’re alive


The pit of my stomach drops away

like an elevator summoned

to a lower floor

My palms sweat


What if I need to hold onto




what if I decide

This time

To swing one leg over the railing

See how it feels?

Then the other, dangling.

Contemplating the plunge savors of liberation.


My life is not lacking in gravity

It’s rife with the

The uneven distribution of mass

The curvature of spacetime that pulls

Bodies toward each other


Ah Newton, you old virgin, telling me about

“the law of attraction of the bodies of the solar system”

Which everyone already knows deep in their bones.


The bigger the body, the more you are drawn to it

The more you want to allow

Your slippery hands to release–

Your ass to slide from its seat

On the railing

(Newton said:

“nor are those bodies always truly at rest

which commonly are taken to be so.”

How did he know how badly I want to jump?)


To allow the body to surrender

to the ineluctable, the inevitable–

For those few moments

Between letting go and coming to a stop

I would feel untethered, a loose particle


A lie, of course–the opposite is

True–nothing would be holding me up

But hurtling downwards is merely my body

Obeying the immutable laws of the universe


The illusion of flying without wings

Is the purest delusion

Fettered as we always are to the heavy.

What is densest

Will always call me back

To slam, full force, into its

Concrete, uncompromising embrace.

Rules are rules.


So I step away from the edge

Take the stairs

the slower descent

is less exciting


I can always

take that leap

Another day

when perhaps the embrace

of the larger body

Will welcome me

with more gentleness.

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