so i've walked up to the edge
with the parachute strapped to my back
and i'm looking down,
running the toe of my shoe along
the jagged seam of solid rock and frigid air,
and i'm looking down through a thick fog
to vaguely where i'll be landing.
and i can see a friend,
her parachute open,
drifting down ever so slowly,
hovering just above the fog,
knowing that in a moment she'll be gone from view.
and i'm saying,
"so you just jump?"
and she's hollering back,
"yeah, yeah, come on you'll figure it out."
and then she's gone.
the girl i met first on the first day of kindergarten,
who thought my haircut made me look like a boy,
who skipped with me when our undeveloped conversational skills brought talking to a halt,
she's gone downstate,
actually, it's university for her, darling.
why does she seem so cool, calm, collected?
how can she be packed so soon?
when did she pack?
i'm not really feeling the full effect yet.
i won't for a bit.
because we didn't see each other so much,
a fact which i regret immensely.
so right now i'm just trying to wrap my mind around the fact of her departure.
like, now when i bike through boystown, i don't get to think,
"i could just drop by elizabeth's house and see if she's around,"
because she isn't around anymore.
unless "around" means geographically-in-the-same-state,
then, yeah, she's around,
until i go to new york, that is. and i go to new york very soon.
sort of like, you know you're going to fall at some point
you're gonna feel that sensation in your middle,
where your stomach manages to fall out from between your legs
and work its way into your throat at the same time,
but not yet
because you are still on solid ground.
because you are not done packing.
because you have not biked through boystown yet.
this week, this day, this hour, this minute
i am safe.
i am going to be the last of my peers to leave chicago.
i am still packing.
i am biking to stores with an empty backpack
and riding home with a satchel zipped to the brim
with toiletries and socks.
i am growing restless.
i am growing tired of this rain.
of the figurative fog.
could i see what's at the bottom yet?
somedays i think i would like to know. maybe.