12:3: “When He Fell”, by Dominik Parisien

12:3: “When He Fell”, by Dominik Parisien
The boy had fallen    a crowd had seen
him break   as he hit the sidewalk
that narrow space    between
concrete slabs    how he had slipped
down   a new formed fissure
to other worlds    or    maybe
still this world    still falling    only elsewhere
a frantic     phone call from    Toronto
someone fell along the sleek surface of a    business building with
no porches    no   no open windows there    to speak of   kids
there are no kids there    yes they saw
something    him   yes   they swear they saw a fissure
in the     no    body no   there was no
news from   Calgary     Victoria too
Hawkesbury    what   small rural town in
how could he fall    there and
here     his parents    they are fragmenting
the ceilings of their house    full
of cracks    with cushions on the floors
who is to say    he won’t fall
back into their lives.


Dominik Parisien is a Franco-Ontarian living in Montreal, Quebec. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Shock Totem, Tesseracts 17, and Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, amongst others. He is the poetry editor for Postscripts to Darkness, provides editorial support for Cheeky Frawg Books, and is a former editorial assistant for Weird Tales. He says:

The inspiration for the poem came from a news report I read however many years ago about a child who had fallen from the balcony of a hotel. These tragic stories occur every once in a while, and I tried to imagine what it would be like for the parents of such a child.


Photograph by Felipe Mostarda of the Mirante do Vale Building in Sao Paolo, Brazil is in the public domain.



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