Coming to Rest Upon the Floor


Blacking out, I fell
Without a shadow of a doubt,
Hit the edge of kitchen cabinet
Before coming to rest upon the floor.
There was no fainting couch to catch me,
Remained unconscious on the ground
Full minute, or maybe two,
I failed to measure flow of spilled blood.
As I opened eyes, I had no idea who I was….
Slowly, only slowly did my name reappear.
 
Now I’ve joined elite club of fainters.
Mozart fainted several times in 1791,
Weeks before he died from building pressure
Of the music tightly coiled within his head,
Requiem moving through his veins,
Notes swelling slowly as Adagio,
Flimsy chamber of his hallowed skull
Cracking under strain… clarinet parts lost
 Forever under either lust or dust.

Freud fainted in 1912 when he discovered
Jung omitted his name in a publication,
Felt wiped out by his anointed prince.
Jung picked him off the floor,
Cradled him in his arms, gently
Removed him from the room.
Sigmund awoke to see Carl’s smiling face.
Did he sense a death wish behind Jung’s eyes?
 
Singing “My Way”, Sinatra crashed to the floor,
Midphrase in Richmond, 1994, doctors rushing to the stage.
He woke accompanied by rapturous applause,
Pale skin no happenstance, frail health again
Suspicious cause when head hits floor,
Consciousness arrested for a minute, maybe two.
But what are we to do?
 
Some lives are laminated with foreboding absence
Long into Midsummer’s Night,
Episodes of lapsing night more or less displaced,
Minutes not fully lost except by faintest touch—
The whole arrangement an early warning.
It made me ponder what is lost at death,
When sounds begin to go over greater distance.
Who among us really knows?
 

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