An Essay on the Fall

by Benjamin Blackhurst


It’s about brinksmanship: one man
leaning over the edge and another

telling him to outdo Icarus, to carry
all manner of heaviness: hubcaps,

copper ingots, the beloved. To lean
into the updraft, the long oval

of the horizon. We all go mute
that high up—some from the chill;

others, awe. The breath departs.
Clean, a winged thing, towering

over the redwoods, the skyline,
it soars. You’ll never outdo it;

you’ll have to try, another says. If
you’re afraid, it’s okay. Reinforce

your wings with wax. Mend them.
Mend anything you like, really: old

knit caps, sweaters, stockings. All
the usual things. Hearts too. Hopes.

Anything not whole, waiting to be filled.
Because on the whole that’s life: waiting

to be filled, for the right wind, for people
to push you and lose their breath as you





Benjamin Blackhurst grew up in California but lives (with a pitiable zero cats) in Utah, where he is a first-year PhD student at the University of Utah.