Archival Footage #30: Niagara Falls

Archival Footage #30: Niagara Falls

nameless now                    in newsreel

the woman pulled from the river

below                   where high slender pale-

     barked trees stand knee deep

in gray lapping    nameless             she is

river-broken         she is worn thin

she is breathing   because

     sometimes they survive

the—what do we call them?—the

ones      who select from all

possibilities                        this particular

dying                   this into the frigid upriver

blue        this current riding

     imagine her graceful slide

into the churning              that descent

so slow   not even a splash

and the sweep of chaos      air

fierce and compelling                               relentless

     the body thrust into the heavenly

white gush of falling water or lost

consciousness                    sometimes           like this

woman with no name                       they wake

     in the shallows to another earthly

face        to his eager reach his grip

under arms to drag the same body out

     imagine her disappointment      a gasp

filling drenched lungs       her horror

at the way things               continue

to come apart slowly                        or all at once