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Trina Burke

The spasm of falling down the stairs
ten years ago at a party is upon us.
Everyone knows: The careen of spring
is a leafy lattice pattern, developing doily
of a year, a year that ends as it began,
in branches. Every year it’s harder to hear
the heart-hurt robin song and the geese
grow ever more confused by the snow-
sun-snow cycle of things. When was the last time
you went to a party and fell down the stairs
drunk and feeling everything but
injured? Hanging sun-catchers on a continuum,
segmenting off end to end to end, the season
asks again what you’d like to drink. What
quaff? What suckle? You are occupied
by the pattern of light, a lingering lace
on the landscape. Stare and stare
until the story reveals itself. Once
when you were young and out past your bedtime
you lay down in wet grass at the top of the highest hill
and looked up at more stars than you’d ever seen
and considered the farthest edge
of ocean visible to the eye and how it simply curves
downward and wraps around the world
and what keeps it there and not flowing up
to the stars is simply gravity
and how this was it, the very same thing
holding you to the hill and wasn’t that grand?
And you’ve never considered
gravity once until this very moment
and it’s still as grand as ever. But that’s a lie.
You’ve considered gravity every single day.

Trina Burke

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