A Leap

By Don Bogen

That dog springing
for the plastic disk snapped
from the skinny girl’s
wrist is so
exquisitely focused
he seems to stop time.
There is no thought
in his action I
can see, no deliberation:
he doesn’t decide
to jump, rather
the leap carries him,
I think, walking
across the park.
His fierce eyes,
which are him now,
lock on the spinning thing
as it hovers on
its angled swoop,
and they pull his whole body
forward under it, shifting
and slowing his pace till
the last sprint and
takeoff headed precisely
where the disk
will be, the eyes
navigating every part of him
against gravity.
At the top of his leap
he has no purchase
on the air
and drops, wrenching
his body off
the very last ripple
of inertia
to seize it.
I catch this only once—
blond girl, red disk,
spotted white dog—
but carry it
with me like a video
and slow it and replay it
as the dog, I imagine,
runs the disk back for
another toss, and another.
Now it is no longer
a video but
an object I can revolve
in my mind, a crystal
glinting in endlessly
evolving facets.
It is light, it is
gleaming, it is not abstract
but it dips into
possibilities, each with
a thicket of consequences—
what is it, what is
it becoming as
it floats and turns
in my thoughts?
There is no gravity
here, but I feel
an urgency, something
inevitably slipping
away, though,
suspended, it seems
to have all the time
in the world.
My steps are balanced,
I am setting a pace:
my goal is the post office,
but I carry
this with me, slathered
in words now, riding
the two-beat rhythm
of my steps, I am
carrying it, revolving it,
I am carrying it in my mouth.

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