Nosedive

Today I dropped the Sibyl on her head.
(Critical consensus in the household
Has assigned her the definite article.)
To be exact: put her in the exact

Dead center of our king bed, called
Space Bed for its sticky future-foam,
Stood up for, I swear, two seconds
To pick up a pair of socks, looked

Back around and there she was:
Nosediving at the bone-hard floor.
Poster now cut, in optical inverse,
Across the inside of my forehead.

Result: she has a green robin’s egg,
Bud for some half-horned unicorn,
On the outside of hers; and cried
For two whole minutes, yielding only

To the seductions of “Brown Bear”;
And her mother was very annoyed.
This is the catechism of folly,
Known to every motorcyclist:

Church and gospel of the close call.
The head without a built-in helmet
Is plum for any stick, but skull
That traded ridges for its brow,

Light and arched and high and thin,
No Fuehrerbunker but a Reims,
Improves the lightest of blows.
Is the warm anchor that wraps us,

Each comfort and open door, more
Than yesterday’s dreamer dreamed,
Real? Or is there no weight, holy
Or mundane – but drift, movement

Of excitement framed in unreason,
As the republic crawls and slides,
Rolling in laughter and smiles,
Two feet to the floor, nine meters

To the Roman judgment of concrete?
Had we one last book, to tell us.
Since patient fire took the ninth,
Tomorrow throws not even an echo.

What would Cato make of Majorian?
Accident is silent. Rug your floors,
Rake up and guard your gold, strap
Hard helmets on your children:

Gravity is great, winter is here.

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