Lauren Greathouse, Black Sands. Vik, Iceland, 2016. (Artist Website)
Archival pigment print
11.4 x 17.25”

In college, there was the Fall Creek (90 feet)
and the Cascadilla (140)
Students jumped from them
in dreams, sometimes
in fact.
They spanned glacial gorges,
much photographed.
It was called “gorging out.”
The fall took a couple of seconds.
Not much time to think
(but I thought faster in those days).

Later, the Golden Gate.
Beautiful, yes.
245 feet above the waves, the boats, the cormorants, gulls.
Twice as much
time to think.
Too much.
Out there in the wind, facing the hills, silver and green,
the ocean at your back, a lot of despair,
a lot of exaltation; too much.

My town now, shallow creeks, small bridges.
No one has ever considered such an awkward
We pass back and forth every day,
never thinking of the fall.

Pepper Trail