How I Fell                  & How It Felt

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 3 2001 3:00 AM

How I Fell                  & How It Felt

At the movies, in my suede boots, like a fawn in the dark
startled by the lights, I fall; down the stairs vertiginous steep
I fall all week—and still fall, and still bark
and bloody my shin, and I am still asleep.

Or no, moving from Cheer, to Joy, to All,
I fall like a cumbersomely breaking sack
of groceries in the parking lot. Why call
for help, game hens, why hope for something back?

The "sorrys" go by me, like the jaunty sparrows
pecking the llama's grain. From a mother's sleep
I fell into such a state—the slings and eros
of outrageous fortune—I could weep

as Ash (our hero) now begins to weep
vast shining cartoon tears for the beloved
Pokemon who's died. But tears are cheap
as movie tickets. Everyone is moved

uniformly. I just feel it more
in my right shin. I bet there'll be a scar.

Jennifer Clarvoe's first book, Invisible Tender, won the 2001 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She teaches at Kenyon College.