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Product 27
Poetry and Prose from the Center for Writers
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by KARA M. MANNING

The Mechanics of Falling

I fell through the ceiling again last night.
Right into the lap of luxurious discontent.
My bones shattered like that crystal carousel horse,
Which used to rest so precariously on the mind.
That one couldn’t shift vertically; neither ups nor
Downs troubled its stasis.
But in trying to move, to rise and fall naturally,
To close its aching jaw,
It tipped itself too far and exploded into
Glittering chaos behind my eyes.
And I’ll fall through the ceiling again tonight.


One Night: one of many, the same but not.


I sit in probably the same rusting patio chair
I’ve nestled into many times before.

A quiet interjection that made me laugh—
“What time does Target close tonight?”

Discussing “booty clap” (don’t ask) and
Lengths of hair and cats, hats. Emo-stylings.

Walk home alone; I’ve never feared the reaper.
Old man on a bike: he wants a cigarette.

He tells me not to shoot. I don’t. Neither does he.
We talk for a year; he pedals off to sleep on the street—again.

The dogs mark territory. Always the same spots.
My orphan obsesses over a bunch of leaves, digs.

he turns up a body. a decaying gecko, and i bury it somehow.
he sits with his chin on my knee and cries.

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Kara M. Manning tries to do some stuff and some things. Writing a Ph.D. dissertation on proto-cinematic effects in Victorian fiction is one of those things. Remembering to consume actual food on a daily basis is one of those things. Other stuff includes hosting dog parties, collecting hair, and avoiding the sun.