I Was Always Falling

by Stacie Marinelli

I was always falling that year, tumbling into sunken living rooms, cascading clumsily off couches, tripping on the way into a subway car.

All year I was disoriented, gravity-deficient, space walking into the murky universe of malignancy – that is, after my diagnosis,
I was unable to stand flat on the floor of my own existence; strapped flat to a radiation table, I was thrown head first into an unstable universe.

Those days I was always catching myself up, wondering what to do next, calculating the odds of survival, holding steady to a schedule of waiting rooms, clinic visits, doctor exams, x-rays, I was celebrating each moment away from suffering, moving forward towards healing.

And there were people all around to catch me, meeting me for coffee, taking me to MRIs cooking for me, preparing soups and smoothies, visiting from out of town, sleeping
on my foldout sofa, and listening, listening.

I was always falling into their arms, their hearts, those days, those months, I was jettisoned into the future, I was rising and falling back into my own life.

Washington, DC / May 2019