Monday 10/16/2006 12:20:00 AM

At the top of the stairs. Everything below. Nothing above. Staring like a star down from the heavens. At a world that's just a distant gum drop stuck in jaws of broken candy. Empty wrappers rustling like autumn leaves in their furtive suicides. And we always seem to die the same way. On the same schedule. Only far less gracefully.

We're always dying when it's the last thing we want to do. Always just beginning to live when there's no time to enjoy it.

At the top of the stairs. Or at the bottom. The only difference being how things appear. The bow in her hair as I requisition the ink. To prove the shapes that are already there. In the stoke of the darkness as it breathes on the shadows. In the cups of the clouds as the moon gallops through windows stalled.

We bent down and picked up the little pieces the blade had left. The sound of making it fit louder than I could stand.

We had the stairs to measure by. Twelves steps between making love and tearing it down. The zenith and the nadir of our sickness. But I was the only one counting. The only one who saw we were too high.

I admitted he could try on Saturday. It was a big deal. Just admitting it was possible. He might not be gone.

I was too kind again.

I was at the top of the stairs looking down. The earth just a wrinkle in the corner of my lips. As they mouthed the words. About making choices. Before I am made by them.

I looked down. From the top of my stairs. More certain than I'd ever been before. About the altitude. And the distance. From here to now. I looked down the same way I'd always done. But this time I thought it didn't look like so far to fall.

Or didn't care if it was.

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