10-Line Tuesday

June 30, 2015

younger self

This isn't, exactly, what I remember of 8, but when my mother unearths
the photograph, I am smack dab in the middle of that frame again,
charging into the pool at my grandfather's apartment complex in Culver City,
no lifeguards to keep me from the plunge, my fists poised in an armature of
rebellion and surrender. So when the man at the music festival asks me for advice
I'd give my younger self, his eyes wide as half-dollars, his poet heart
calling him away from the good job he thought he wanted and worked so hard
to get, I tell him the worst part is always just before the leap, the fear of falling
at its sharpest, all those practice runs rendered obsolete. Only in mid-air, I say,
can you know that falling's only the half of it.