Oct/Nov 2001 Poetry

I'd Like to Think (Post 911)

by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

Art by Bob Dornborg


I'd Like to Think (Post 911)

I like to think I, too,
would have leapt from the burning towers,
bracelets, glasses, shoes, anything loose
crashing to the sidewalk 100 stories below
a nanosecond before the rest;

leapt instead of taking death by flame
or suffocation, flakes escaping from my bones
to join the drifts of thin black shreds, perhaps
at one time paper towels, perhaps the skin
of the bountiful woman across the hall.

I like to think my motive
would have had nothing at all to do
with rumors of the ecstasy, however brief,
that accompanies such leaps,
or with morbid curiosity

about how it might feel
to be swung back and forth,
a bell without rope, swung
by a force so ferocious
no wind could compete

but that throughout the plunge
I'd have believed I would surely survive,
swandive into the river, fall gently
into a net or clear through the pavement
to the other side of hell.

All this I like to think, though I know
such scenarios, if not ludicrous,
are improbable as the notion
I'd have pushed my babies back inside me
to keep them from the gas chambers

or that I'd respond to the mantra
Nothing again will be quite the same
by changing my life, at the very least
my expectation that others will change
to fit the shapes of my desires.


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