from 9/11 or Falling Man

Yiannis Efthymiades

all of you think I was scared shitless that's why I dove headfirst into the abyss
god what idiots for once I took my life into my own hands and let myself
drop provocative like in front of their eyes immense ghoulish I stick my tongue out
then in that last moment I see a girl with a sad look in the midst of the crowd
nothing special to remember about her just that she was a sad girl that's all
two summers ago or two years after we could've fallen in love yeah could've
though this chance in a lifetime didn't come to fruition how many ever do
and so in the end I won't be here but the girl sure will what simple logic yours
the kind of logic I repeated proudly ad nauseum for so many years

those nights when you fall when you're dreaming that's how you know I'm really falling I twist
and turn like a meteor in a dizzying spin sometimes right side up on deck
other times upside down see how I'm looking at your world upside down it's not bad
sometimes with my head between my legs, other times with hands like birdwings I twist and
turn in a dizzying spin and bingo I'm four years old eating an ice cream cone
then bingo thirty the kid comes out when I'm twenty eight at fourteen the day is
endless twenty one the world is new but then it's only a bend in the road
and I'm fifty then a hundred I'm all time and time eternal and that's enough
in one moment all time seizes up opens again at last the fourth dimension

my eyes hurt as I fall the air accosts me as if to tear them out uproot them
they hurt so does the hair on my arms it is mania this resistance of mine
this desire for matter to appear as if whole even as it disintegrates
my eyes hurt when confronted with the horror but I keep them wide open to see
the man who falls wants to see and wants to know knowledge is his justification
the man who falls must always know his own fall even as he is falling this is
his punishment knowledge instead of feeling experience not intuition
slowly addiction sets in and the horror becomes an image like the others
and this image becomes gigantic until it takes the shape of a complete world

translated from the Greek by Karen Van Dyck