Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Falling — Kristine Ong Muslim

You will not see the people gawking

thirty-seven stories down.

But you can watch the flicker

of gentle lights, the church steeple

pointing its sole finger in the opposite

direction of your fall, the hush of curtains

blowing out of the open windows.

You will notice that the side of the building

has been streamlined to keep its insides

from spilling on the sidewalks.

Your whole body is our center of gravity.

You are neither heavy nor light.

A distraction of happiness, a memory perhaps

make you look away from the ground.

You imagine strolling

on the street below, that ground

where a burned out streetlight stands

between you and the night

and turning your back

only to hear it rustle as you walk away.

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