Fire Escape

Fire Escape

I want to tell you about the man standing
on the third floor fire escape, staring through
his round-rimmed glasses, through the window,
in at me.

I am waiting for him to jump.

What will his body be like after sliding
though through two floors of empty air?
Will they bury it or burn it?  His cousins
driving all-night from Utah to watch it happen,
then all night home again to tell
their families it was real.  Or will he lie,
sexy and limp with his arms out-stretched,
still alive, but like a just-crucified
version of himself?  Or, more awful still,
will he walk away, unscathed, leaving me
the only witness to his misery?

This abyss is too easily discussed, to weep
about the watery oatmeal our mothers made
when we were children, to speak so earnestly
about the holes in our socks and the wasted way
we tie our shoes each day.

We know we are not as deranged as we think we are.
We are not gods, and we are not humans.
Our sadness is artificial, but it is beautiful.
It is bits of broken mirror and spoons
bent sideways using just our minds.

We are not horses.
We are not heroes.
Our hair grows
0.3mm per day,
and still they say
we are dead inside.

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