Ten Thousand Times Pounded
By now the delicate falling
of a shining snowfall soothed
every inch of Brooklyn
which I announced to everyone
in Mike’s restaurant.
Behind the counter Ryan glanced
at his watch, then continued
peeling potatoes for the morning rush hour.
“Bernstein, ” he said, “you’re one way out dude.”
“Still a miracle, Ryan,
and did you know each snowflake’s alive
also unique, never to be repeated
a billion births going on right now
on the streets of Brooklyn.”
Kotz struggled to turn his head to me
then said, “I’ll be dead
but I’ll survive—on the street,
lost, homeless, a bum.
But what’s that? ”
Before I could respond
Celina Callahan, the writer, said to Kotz,
“Many people who are that bad off
In my last novel fourteen characters
did away with themselves,
mostly with a cocktail of Clorox and red wine,
although a few took the gas pipe.
One jumped from the roof of
a six story building. I made him land
on bushes breaking his fall.
Thus the irony of a leap to life
propelled the novel
with such dramatic force
I was amazed at my own skill.
I say a ‘leap to life’
because after the attempt
he realized how wonderful
simply being alive could be.
He broke a leg, of course,
but in the hospital he met a nurse
who became fascinated with
his few seconds of falling.
then love, then marriage,
then children, then happiness.”
“How do you come up with that stuff? ” asked Kotz.
“I follow authentic life, ” said Celina Callahan.
Kotz stared at her, lips moving towards a smile
then stopping, serious, saying,
“A real man puts
a bullet through his brain.”