I Know How to Fall

I know how to fall
out of love in a flash,
almost
always
without skinning my heart

or breaking
my hubris’ bone.

I make list after list
(five days prior to the arrival of now)
and for each item, I create ‘What ifs…’

What if my lips are cracked and bloodied,
and I can’t wake the princess with a kiss?

What if exhaustion makes me thoughtless,
and I break the crystal coffin
without seeing what lies within?

What if gut and backbone turn against me,
and I can’t take three steps
without crying twelve howls and one shriek?

Unknowns must be roused properly,
coffins are too valuable to lose.
If my nerve leaves me,
I’ll run into the woods
and reclaim it.

I know how to fall
out of love
with what’s expected—

I practice.

 

About the Image: the artwork is part of “a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty” story. I chose it because Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell took the traditionally expected “happily ever after”, and reshaped it into a tale in which a lot more characters can do some real living.

***
for NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero 2015, Day 25 – Anticipating Mayhem: Write a poem that lets us glimpse into how you ready yourself before facing known troubles, and what you do to cope once mayhem has done its thing.

The Sleeper and the Spindle“…detail from The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell. Photograph: Chris Riddell/Bloomsbury”
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