Alone in the house your father built
and you’ve always lived in, you walk with your cane
toward the door to the basement.
You’re old, and suspect you’re senile,
but there’s one thing you’re sure you remember
correctly: that since you were born
the basement has been deepening,
at a rate that is always increasing,
and at the bottom there’s something you want,
though you don’t remember what.
You open the door and switch on the light.
It doesn’t shine far enough. You can’t
see the floor. Still, you start down the stairs.
Your eyes will adjust. As you reach for the banisters,
your cane drops. You never hear it stop falling.
The sound just fades away.
You follow it. You can always turn back.
You will take the descent a step at a time.