A bright mosaic—
you are broken glass embedded
in the soft pad of my foot,
the impressionist painting
you’ve created on my floor—
not a field of red poppies, just
blood gone rust,
I bruised myself easily
trying to impress
what wouldn’t remember:
the rutted out road
lined with spring flowers
turned summer thistle,
the dust thick in our throats
and Sgt. Pepper always on the cassette,
the rattle over wooden slats, my fear,
how I stood out there beyond the rail
above the cheers of drunken river-bathers,
waved at you, small at that distance
and all over the current.
The world swooned.
There was no screaming, only
wind, slap, and the under-silence.
My feet swollen July plums,
I didn’t walk for a week.
It’s obvious isn’t it?
The last piece of unwanted bread—a bookend,
a labrador obeying this command,
the tough place at the end of a body.
Here I eat the stale loaf with marmalade,
surrender, circle in, stand close to myself.
I’m no Achilles;
this is a small sutured wound, and soon,
I’ll carry my own selfish weight
without even a limp.
This poem was published originally by The Comstock Review. Thanks, Comstock! I've been thinking about it lately because I really did jump from that bridge (in the poem, not the photo). I bruised my bum, though, not my feet. I wasn't ready to put my bum in a poem. Now I live near that bridge again. I haven't been there in nearly 25 years, and I'm not sure I even remember the way, but I wonder what the fall looks like from the far side of forty.