11.3 (Spring 2007)   The 2River View  

Lane FalconListen


At twenty-six I know

Just a seed
From twenty stories up is
Something dangerous.

If I drag a knife across your chest,
You bleed.
Square your fist, slam
My skull like a birdcage.

You ask me to trust you—
Just let myself go—but I'm not stupid:
I see blood on the kitchen floor,
My front teeth, two pricks
Of frantic nerves.

It's physics:
Like a child holds dandelion stems,
You hold my throat dry;
I uproot
the turnip of your heart.

We could hurt each other;
We could hurl ourselves
Like axes
Into oak.

If I jump
From twenty-six stories up,
I will burst on the sidewalk
Like a pomegranate.
If you try to catch me, no one will know
Whose heart was this,
Whose tooth was that.



So you let go
        blunt earth
and the balls of your feet
        chains twisting
behind you

The lame skid
        of Sissy's shoes
her face a kitchen sponge
        mother rose soap
to clean your knees

Dirt stamped
        on the heels of your palms
your spine's curse
        when the ground won't budge

Your heart
        a bird to the windshield.




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