Chasing Waterfalls

Today, I squeezed your hand
as we peered down from splintered railings,
the murky water of the Potomac
cascading down jagged rocks
beneath our feet.

An average of 7 people
die here each year, a sign read.
I remember laughing maniacally
at this, a stifled funeral giggle.
I wondered how it went about,
how frantic
or slow motion
their souls bubbled upwards.

Had the bottoms of their red Converse
shoes failed to tether them to the rocks?
Were they too busy
watching the flutter of their lover’s
eyelashes to notice the ledge?
Had the water enveloped their bodies
before they could gasp a chance
to craft a poem
out of their inability
to breathe?

7 people die here each year.
But I,
my questions,
my muse,
this April afternoon,
am the first
to live.

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