To Death

In memory of Joseph Alexander Banks

To Death

I. Velocity

The average man weighs
around 180 pounds
and from a seventh story fall
it takes only three seconds
to hit the ground

In that span of three seconds
I wonder what he thought
if his mind like mine
was filled with kinematic equations
formulas predicting
the moment of impact
telling us precisely
his highest point
before he fell

I wonder what that weightlessness
was like as he hovered in the air
a slight curvature, torso bent
and arms spread as though in flight
was it a slow decline or depression
that curled away from stillness
as the hands of gravity
held his hands for one last moment

And momentum, a product of velocity
is either positive or negative
either we are rising or falling
but maybe on the ground
we see it backwards
maybe falling isn’t falling
if it feels like flying in the air

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Separation Anxiety

It’s odd
I still think of him as my boyfriend
When I raise my voice to make a quip
but quiet myself the moment I realize
He’s not my boyfriend anymore
But so rote is he a part of me
I react to think he’s still mine
Then I remember, bite my tongue, taste my blood
Realize he is gone, we are gone
I’m not his boyfriend anymore
He isn’t mine