Modus Operandi #6 ~ Theresa D. Smith


The reason I blacked out on the Eiffel Tower is not
vertigo. Though I have that. No, I was weighing the risks,

whom they would call if I did it, what number of children
on the ground below. Whether they might stop me

before I vaulted the fence. But it looked easy.
It might have been an obligation, really—such

an opportunity, textbook perfect. I tangled both hands
in the chain link, one near the top. Felt my heart in my chest,

then in my whole body. Tested my weight. If the body
is no more than the heart, if not one of us is more

than a road of blood and memory, then what?
I would have been a flying heart? I don’t think so.

Opportunities come and we take them, or not. Not
a heart flying then, but one falling, dropping

in its own estimation. But still I replayed my other
attempts in my head, bet on my success probability.

I looked out at Paris. I can’t remember enough to tell you.
Pigeons, I recall those. Lovely pink flowering trees.

People seemed a little distant, though I worried about Sara,
the girl in charge of the exchange students, the one

they’d call. Would she have to identify the body,
and what would I look like, all smashed up? And I let go.

I turned and was on my knees. No one saw.
I’d been alone in Paris for two days.

It was beautiful. The cherry trees
smelled like rain.