Lately I’ve Been Running Out of Words for Falling

Phoenicopteridae Urbana, Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack

lately, i’ve been meeting my supposed-to-be-stranger on city streets,

looking for him on the edges of days and finding him in familiar hallways.

but when i see him, i feel my heart stumble and struggle to stand again,

so when he closes the evening door, i find myself trying to rewrite the poem:

                    the one where i end up in the rain with strangers,

                    collect unread letters and buy extra bubblegum, 

                    where i dream distracted, lose my breath in the street,

                    and circle through the season in a week. 

                    the one where i trip on rusty railroad tracks,

                    burn my tongue too many times, pour out hot coffee, 

                    shatter wine glasses and use new words to bring back the rain.

but lately, i’ve been running out of words that mean falling,

and while there are too many ways small talk can be sweet,

there are only so many ways i can shove it into stanzas when it stings.

only so many ways to speak about meeting and leaving—

a pile of patterned words crashing into themselves.

i’ve been rewriting the poem and understanding that oceans can’t be dried up

but i’ve also been hoping that in the trying i can find a new poem—

the one where the heart tries to swim, instead of stand. 

i would like to love the corners of my city streets again, 

so lately on the days when i meet old strangers, 

i’ve been rewriting the poem

and looking for new words for falling,

but in between, i’ve been trying to swim. 

About the Author

Ava Berarducci · LeMoyne College

Ava Berarducci recently graduated from Le Moyne College with a dual major in Communications and Theatre Arts. She pursues her love for all things creative by writing, collaborating, designing, and learning. “lately, i’ve been running out of words for falling,” was originally published in the Salamander.

About the Artist

Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack · 

Working across disciplines, Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack creates vibrant, engaging, and often visceral work. Trained as an architect and researcher, Jaxon has harmoniously blended his passions and talents into an artistic practice that spans mediums and genres. Whether through digital photography and collage, painting, sculpture, or writing, Jaxon explores what it means to be human and to find beauty in that shared experience, giving voice to the narratives that shape us. Based in Minneapolis, Jaxon works in public art, helping support the work of other artists, creating greater access and exposure. When he is not working on his writing or art, Jaxon is restoring and remodeling an 1886 Victorian home with his husband.

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