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The sun was a spinning
wheel spitting out threads
of heat which wrapped
themselves around my neck
and chest, squeezing sweat
from my spongy skin

Walls of heat sucked
space away, leaving me
captive  in a cell of
claustrophobia

Fast moving traffic crossing
the bridge pushed me closer to
the edge of terror

A reflection from the
surface of the black water
below beckoned to me with
the devilish cackle of death

Spent by the endless agonizing
over what I was prepared to do,
I looked to the heavens seeking
forgiveness

With my arms extended, leaning
against a suspension wire, the shadow
of a man lashed to a cross blackened
the cloudless sky

I plummeted headfirst to the devilish
heat below, glaring into the dark
water I was about to enter

But just as Death reached up to take me,
the bungee cord pulled me back,
and lifted me to another jump.




Eric Miller is a retired dentist who has laid down his drill for a quill. His work appears or is forthcoming in Foundling Review, The Storyteller, Calliope Nerve, Stories that Lift, The Cynic Online Magazine, Word Slaw, The Stray Branch, Flutter Poetry Journal, Word Catalyst, Short Humour, Poetry Friends, Boston Literary Magazine, and  Blink / Ink.




While dining at a local restaurant with another couple, the husband shared the experience of his first bungee jump. His wife interjected that she was "at the end of her rope" watching it play out. It reminded me of my college roommate's attempt to get me to skydive out of a plane with him many years ago. My then fiancee, and now wife, had used the same phrase to describe her anxiety.
 
Before I went to bed after that dinner, I wrote the poem. After reviewing it the next morning, I sent it to Foundling Review, where my phrase "and jerked me up to another jump" was edited to "and lifted me to another jump." I have no present or future plans to either bungee jump or skydive.

  


Copyright 2009