Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Learning to Fall

by Ben Gunsberg

How will you manage stairs
when your old body trembles
like a piece of straw, they say.

Practice wearing a tool-belt,
a backpack. Fall in heels,
they say. Tuck your head.

Round the right angles.
No straight legs.
No arched spine.

Do not hold your breath.
Consider the terrain, they say.
Keep lights on. Remove rugs.

Grass is not the same as gravel
even for the cannonball. They say,
whether you slip or you’re thrown,

you’ll want to slap the earth,
disperse all that energy
flowing from your fingertips.