Seven Days of Falling by Adrian Matejka


The first half of 2009 was the third driest on record for Lincoln, which contributed to a warmer than average spring. This dryness and heat also led to a reduced number of tornadoes in Nebraska—fifty percent fewer than the year before. The spring issue of Prairie Schooner featured “Seven Days of Falling,” by Adrian Matejka, a poem that was later included in The Best American Poetry 2010.

by Tory Clower

Seven Days of Falling
Adrian Matejka

Today, I’m assimilating like margarine
into hotcakes. I’m getting down

like Danny LaRusso after the against-
the-rules leg sweep. So low,

I’ll be a flower in common decency’s
lapel. Factual, the same way “Zanzibar”

means sea of blacks to anyone who isn’t
from there. Where is Juan Valdez,

his burroesque dependability when
you need him? I had a friend who minted

t-shirts with Juan front and center,
an afro instead of a sombrero, a power

fist instead of a smile. The inscription:
100% Colombian. I’m going the way

of skin—radio waves, thoughts
like ear-to-ear transmissions grounded

into the ozone on the way from mindless
space to forgetful Earth. Man, my skin

doesn’t need me any more than mold
needs cheese. On this day of cellophane

lunchboxes and hand grenades reshaping
my palms into their own militaristic orbit,

there are only oceans to catch me.
On this day, something needs

to catalogue me: a hall monitor
doubled wide by ambition,

a goldfish with thumbs hitchhiking
toward a fishbowl full of dub.