â€œIâ€™m coming home nowâ€
~ Felix Baumgartner, October 14, 2012
At the moment heâ€™s supposed to jump
thereâ€™s an interstitial splitâ€”Iâ€™m watching
it live on the internetâ€”the video
freezes and heâ€™s gone from the capsule lip,
vanishedâ€”like thatâ€”before he reappears
as a speck falling through sky. Iâ€™m falling
with him, catching up with him catching up
with himself, breaking the barrier of sound,
a teacup rattling the thousand selves.
For a moment I hoped (you hoped, too)
thereâ€™d be no fall at allâ€”God has spoken
in reverse and poof!â€”weâ€™re asleep at our desks,
dreaming white balloons, wide skyâ€™s aching blue,
rubbing the darkened edges of our vision
curved with the shape of Earth, but no.
Itâ€™s The Matrix, existence confirmed,
and we are a sonic bullet never heard,
moving too fast for self cognizance,
written as a sequence of zeros and ones.
Call it sometimes oh not zero, call it
true, false & sometimes both:
oh one one zero zero oh oh one
because he is/I am/you are breaking
through binary code, rising from
the exhaled word, HALâ€™s motherless voice
reporting from the void/heard world, waking
the tiny shaken pieces that donâ€™t match up.
No, heâ€™s Felix again, falling through sky,
an age ago, an hour. He is
a mouthful of air, a savior at the door
and trembling. He forms the mouth into words.
Thereâ€™s fear of it not happening afterwards.
~ Ellen Kombiyil
Ellen Kombiyil is the author of â€˜Histories of the Future Perfectâ€™ (2015) and â€˜Avalanche Tunnelâ€™ (forthcoming). A fellow at the University of Iowaâ€™s International Writing Program, Kombiyil has read, performed, or taught workshops at the annual Prakriti Poetry festival in Chennai, the Raedleaf Poetry Awards in Hyderabad, and Lekhana in Bangalore. She is a co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective.
Editorâ€™s note: â€˜Felix Descendingâ€™ first appeared in â€˜Histories of the Future Perfectâ€™, (The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, 2015) and is republished here with kind permission from the poet and the publisher.