the long way

Lean forward, breath held. Will I survive the fall? It seems colder up here, the air thinned and stretched. Inhale sharply between clenched teeth, eyes narrowed into slits. I didn’t think it would come to this. A stone gargoyle leers suggestively, cold lips chiselled into a perpetual sneer. Everything is fast and slow all at once; traffic pulses in spurts like blood pumped through narrowed veins as somewhere an enormous mechanical heart squeezes and wheezes. Ragged grey clouds unfurl into dirty threads and do little to hide the shame smeared across the sky. Everywhere is the dense city stench of indifference.
Take one last look. Somewhere far from shore a tide has been building inside me. Little by little, fed on subterranean tremors, the eighty percent water trapped within thin skin swells into a slate grey tidal wave blindly careening forward. The roar of water fills my ears and spills out of my mouth as rage peaks and explodes, flinging me over the edge.
With unanticipated grace I carve a generous curve into the air. The tower offers me fragments of my reflection in its impassive eyes. One hundred blurry photos of my spiralling demise flash past. Perhaps this is why buildings are mirrored.
Bone weary and worn brittle thin I’m so very tired. My eyelids start closing; slicing through the smudged view of the vertical landscape I am hurtling past. The wind screeches sharply as I wince once and surrender.
The surface of the road arches up to meet me as though aching for impact. The tiny space between my softness and my end compresses ever smaller. The complex pattern of asphalt sprawls out into a kaleidoscope of black and grey.
I hit the ground and every cell reverberates with the impact, a single pure note that expands and swells to unbearable crescendo. Borrowed molecules once whirling girl shaped burst into pyrotechnic formation and for one millisecond, hold.


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