"What if I just dove off this balcony?"
"You'd be dead, " I answered.
He was standing in the doorway
drowsily, old Joe drunk, sorrowful,
lamenting, that layer of phony happiness
and smiles torn away by scotch and
beer, we were bare-chested, bastards, fuck-ups
in the summer's heat, the party in shadows behind us,
"I'd rather jump off the Whitman,"
I told him, and truthfully told him,
"Yeah," He mulled it over sloppily,
"The Franklin seems too popular,
everybody is jumping off there, you can't
just walk up on the Whitman, that's determination,
if you did it you'd have to stop traffic, even swerve
your car into both lanes and jump out,
run over the hoods of cars,
climb up to the edge and just go,
and when you're floating between the
bridge and the water, with your arms
outstretched like this, forcing all those
idiots to confront the end, mothers
holding their hands over their children's eyes,
that's when you're truly, finally free, that
moment is it, the only time it's
possible to escape this...this shit.
I'd like to walk the Appalachian Trail,"
"And when we do finish," I figured,
"We fucking jump off the Brooklyn Bridge."
"Yeah! And we keep detailed notes, and
take our poetry with us, send it all, send
everything out the day we jump, to
publishers, media, everybody."
"Man, if we did that," I said musing
over my empty beer, watching his
dulled eyes, "We'd
be read man."
"We'd be dead," He was reeling
in this thought, the possibility.
"Yeah, but we'd be read," I repeated
and we smiled at each other through
the years and the trust and the pact,
through the meaningless nights and sounds.