the day I leave detroit for good
I see a woman jump from a tenth story fire escape

I close my eyes and she hangs in the air
soundless
as if the earth
had been pulled out from under her

she finds the sidewalk on cass avenue to be
as I have found it:
not always friendly
but honest
reliable
true

some of us will collapse at the sight of her
we are as mute as the living ever get

I see her eyes are fixed on something very far away
her body heaves like a broken machine
her fluids no longer keep to their conduits

she will be nineteen forever

she will be on her back
and still clutching a purse
when the ambulance comes

I will answer one more question
for the official report

I will cling to the earth for three seasons
before I pack up my things

but that is the day
I leave detroit for good
Poems 3
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