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At the Edge of the Waterfall


“A thing may happen and be a total lie;

another thing may not happen and be truer

than the truth.” ― Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

The last episode brought me to the edge

of a slippery waterfall, a rain slicked curve,

the moment a riptide takes away one’s will,

but I was probably too sick then, on my back

in the hospital bed of an easy life, too weak

of mind to dive deep enough into murky waters

to stop believing that survival in the ICU

is not a cheesey Hallmark serial titled

Everything Will Be Better in the Morning.

In this remake, 2 years later, head full of fever

and snot in a B version of the original, I’m more

lumpy cushion on a couch than man on a deathbed,

yet now the same Covid fog is pierced by cinematic

flashbacks (oxygen masks, IVs, beeping monitors),

the blinking lights of the tv becoming triggers

to slip into into some Wes Craven horror film

of my own making, where logic, reason, good

sense, science, don’t stand a chance against

the slick algae-covered rocks at the edge

of the endless waterfall of memory.

—SL, October 2022, New Paltz, NY

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