Wednesday, January 17, 2007

She and the Reflex of Mortals at Chestnut Run


Marguerite of Horatius
Sun-streaked auburn hair,
tanned shoulders with the beginnings of a burn, dappled with dew

La tuffatrice in volo
She is not Icarus.
She aims for the sea --
to arrive there in perfect pitch from the sky.


She stands, hands pointing north and south
toes on the edge
back to the brink

A slight bend in the knees
a taut bob of the arms
starting momentum

With an arch of her neck, her body springs -- upward... outward...
...airborne...

Over the precipice her frame arcs into the sky
Seemingly out of the sun
circumvolving in slo-mo
heels over head over heels
almost perfect...
almost...

The rotation a hair from completion
when her nape nicks the crag
from where she leapt

one split-second

and the reflexes of mortal men kick in

Bodies in motion are in flight before she even touches the water
Simultaneous splashes
and arms are there to gird her dazed form...
lifting... upward through the sea

All at the surface
and only seconds have elapsed.
Marguerite draws a breath
and the rest of us can release ours.