Whenever I stare down a flight of stairs, I feel closest to death. When I was five, I almost tumbled downstairs. Death would have been easiest then, but my balance worked out that day; my daddy said, I didn’t push you, when I turned to face him. Forty years later, and I think of him still whenever I look down. My vision swims every time. Never mind that I feel eyes on my back every time I climb. Never mind that I drift from my husband for any railing. Never mind, they all said the past stands behind me now.
Ross Showalter’s work appears or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, F(r)iction, Sequestrum, Portland Review, Hobart, Cape Cod Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle, Washington.