from Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography

to walk means to fall
to thrust forward

to fall and catch

the seemingly random
is its own system of gestures

based on a series of neat errors
          falling and catching

to thrust forward

sometimes the body misses
then collapses

it shatters

with this particular knowledge

a movement spastic
                       and unwieldy

is its own lyric and
the able-bodied are

tone-deaf to this singing some


is of its own grace



                         rather occurs

out of laziness or distraction

here, the entire frame is shaken

these are the falls

where I tell myself

you shouldn't have fallen

I mean to inflict

while the critic of the world watches

o stupid, stupid world

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Bartlett. From Autobiography/Anti-Autobiography (Theenk, 2014). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.