So Mom, he says, If you’re ever falling on a platform
toward the ocean, let’s say from the edge of the space, and
you’re falling so fast that the impact would kill you, here is what you do.
We are eating buttered bagels with jam. The small silver table
reflects the long slant rays of early morning sun. I take a bite,
and look at him with eyes that say, Go on.
Well just before you hit the waves, he says, you jump.
You have to get off the platform, because once in the air
you become your own force. And it still might hurt, but you’ll live.
I do not recall enough of physics to be certain he is right.
But it sounds as if it could be true. And I stare at him
until he stares back, his mouth rimmed with poppy seeds.
It’s possible that it could work on land, too, he says,
though chances are it would hurt a lot more.
I wonder when he learned to say things such as, “Chances are.”
I do not tell him I have fallen, fallen from the edge of known.
I do not tell him there was no platform for me to jump from.
I do not tell him I was scared.
I say, That is very good advice. I’ll remember that next time
I fall. And we eat our bagels in the morning sun. And I fall in love
with the boy, with forces I don’t understand, and with the feeling of falling
right through the sunlit room, right through the breakfast chair,
right through the platform that might someday save me.
The dust sparkles like surf in the air.