i once jumped
i once jumped out of an airplane.
yes, i was with others who all thought
the air would save us, even though it had no
eyes and hands to hold us tight and close,
loving each of us who dared to trust the
ropes and cloth that could have been laundered
and folded neatly by some woman who
never watched television or ate pizza.
i asked many times but no one told me
about the little dog inside me who fell out the window.
we barked and howled, but not all the way down.
there was no siren, no alarm bell, only the
grassy hills and an arrow pointing at something.
i don’t remember anymore at what, just like the
professor down in front trying to explain something.
i was wearing a white jumpsuit, and i
made sure to use the outhouse often enough
so that the jumpsuit wouldn’t change colors at the sudden
mad moment when i let go of the strut
and saw the wing get smaller and smaller.
the wind nearly blew off my glasses.
i now know why paratroopers in the movies yell “geronimo!’
when they jump -- so no one hears the little dogs bark.
i think i saw a white flower when i got done with
falling. i looked around to make sure i wasn’t on fire.
later i heard tall grasses tell their adventure stories.
it was so long ago the trees don’t remember
how many times i looked carefully at the dirt
when i practiced dying.