Poetry by Gerald Rice

Just Like Falling Down a Flight of Stairs



They should bottle this stuff,

You feel





Falling and landing

mouthfirst on a soft

Letter “V”,

Measure the lumps                                                       

on your head,

Test the tolerance

of the joints of your bones,





No one is there

And they won’t be coming,

Spring your elbow’s crick,

Feel the presence

of no landing,                                                             

Drift farther away

And further from the point

Buy one, get one,

You’ve got butterflies

in the head,                                                               

Little stars

behind the knees

And the walls hold their

hands behind their backs,





Dodge the nail pops

and creak out the

last drops of

struggle, before you                                                     

give way; (bumpity)

as you climb

Down, freefalling

into a dizzying hell

That whispers the                                                       

breath from your (bump)

lungs, crushed by your

own terminal velo-

city, beating the

fight (bump-bump) right out                                       

of you, tum-

bling along;


ing, until

you aren’t                                                                    

here, but

(bump) you are




Gerald Rice is a lifelong Detroiter.                          


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