PROSE POEM: Falling (A Part )

First Published June 8th, 2016


I am not falling apart, she thinks. I am a beautiful cocoon in which is birthed bright-burning catastrophe.

Your past is prologue, but mine is overture. It’s the orchestra tuning up in the pit, familiar fragments and squeaky scales, haunting hints of chords to come, and somewhere behind it all there is the coda of a nursery rhyme you haven’t thought about in years but now that you’ve heard it, it won’t leave your head. The symphony is not for me, but for the devil, a man of wealth who never let me have a taste. He owed me nothing but it might have been nice, those long years in hell. I was a guest in his home and he never even offered me a seat.

Persephone had her pomegranate, but I think I would have spit out the seeds. Not because I’d have changed my mind, but in case he did. I don’t want to be alone, but I know how to stand it better than awkwardness.

I am not falling apart, she thinks. I am a work in progress, the process of becoming a wreck, a mess, a tragedy in the making.

Life descending a staircase, still nude with absinthe. The treachery of memory is equaled only by the persistence of images. I started out paint-by-numbers, but quickly lost count and since then my life has been one big blue period. It pours down just like on TV, and I don’t even have wings to hold me in place.

I try to connect the dots but when all your lines are dotted, things get complicated quickly. What I can’t create, I borrow from better artists. I’ve owed on a Grecian urn for as long as I’ve known it; I have the principle, but I can’t raise the interest. More happy likes! More happy, happy likes!

I am not falling apart, she thinks. I am moving forward in many directions, most of them downward.

I fall, I shatter, I scatter, I hide. Our name is legion, for we are broken. Did he go through this, when he fell? He never let on, but I can’t blame him. The biggest piece of me left standing arranges its jagged broken edge into a smile and tells you it’s nothing, I’m fine. It’s fine. It’s fine. I’m nothing, it’s fine.

It’s normal, it’s life, it is what it is, it is what we make of it, right? So I make it work, but I never make it, and it never works. I go back to the beginning, but the beginning has changed. The orchestra is still tuning up, but all the notes are different now. I thought I knew the score, but one day soon I’ll be looking at forty, love, and wondering if this was ever my racket.

I am not falling apart, she says. But thank you so much for asking, just the same.


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