|Apr/May 2005 • Poetry|
Given that you've come to a dead end
and are standing still at your greatest height,
peer over the ledge, peer over and choose.
The free fall time after one possible choice
equals the square root of twice the distance
divided by the acceleration. Acceleration
is the gravity of all that's beneath your feet
pulling you down, which comes to 32 feet
per second squared, ignoring friction, of course.
Starting at your dead end velocity of 0 would
give you 5 seconds to live with your decision,
5 seconds to consider how you can't change
your mind, once more ignoring friction, of course.
But you can never ignore friction. Friction
would be the wind slapping your face all
the way down. Or you could make another choice—
turn around and get off the roof, where
you shouldn't have gone in the first place,
exit the building by taking the elevator or stairs down,
the way ordinary people leave at their day's end.