I Was Told There Would Be Trampolines


United States
34° 9' 30.7728" N, 80° 53' 15.3096" W

A man leapt from the eighty-fourth floor, arms folded back
like a V of geese. And though the cameras never caught the
Rorschach splatter of his body, I imagine the ground
swelled up to catch him. He merely accepted that we were
never meant to fly, that sometimes people cannot move
trampolines fast enough to catch us all. Before she kept
sleeping pills on her bedside table, my mother and I looked
into death’s mouth. It is not that we believed flight was too
temporary, but sleep too uncertain. She often asked that I
check on her as she slept, just to make sure she was still
alive. Not until a caravan of Kuwaiti men ran her off a
desert road did she associate sand with saffron,
honey-spice with triumph, and finally uttered the words I am tired of
fighting. Eventually, she will find where I hide her pills, but
for now, let her night terrors volunteer themselves to her
trembling hands. Only more time to remember how to dial
nine-one-one. And I’m sure I can recall how to find a pulse.
I’m sure I can assimilate her back into the habits of the



To avoid any suspicion of plagiarism, this poem was also published under the Bennington College Young Writers' Competition last year and can be found on their website.

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