the man who backflipped through time

Larry Ashworth stood
on the canyon's lip
go-bag strapped to his belly
parachute on his back
goggled up, murdered out
in his daredevil best
arm aloft to quiet the crowd
the airs of someone attempting
a synchronized dive
or a jackknife
turning his back to the chasm
clearing rubble from the ledge
he coiled his knees and
moonsaulted out of sight
to a soundtrack of gasps and radio static
and thus he spun
shoelaces dragging in the wind
body in a fist
a cramp in each joint and
the whistle of the inevitable
in each ear
thoughts just a sack of
all-caps letters, howling
he blew air from his nose
out of habit, not wanting
the water to gum up his sinuses
his skin itched and inflamed
blood rushing to his toes
and in a second, a suspension,
time and gravity lost their dominion
Larry slowed down
and stuck the landing,
a feather off a bird's back
his boots rubber cookie cutters
denting the grass
and upon impact
of sole on soil
a whip crack across all universes
ten thousand hearts imploded
a hundred thousand souls mended
millions of lives made and unmade
by a series of atomic-level coin tosses
heads, empires erased
tails, the concept of empires erased
in too many dimensions to count
the quarter got stuck
in a gap in the floorboards
and dark the dimension went
he peeled his eyewear off
and dabbed dew from his philtrum
Larry stood and looked around
unsure of his next move
he had not accounted for
the success of his plan
he got the towel from his bag
and cleaned himself of the gunk of the tesseracts
he made a tent from his chute,
learned to forage and fish
and continued to live
he never uttered another word
but people found him anyway
took him in, prodded at his clothes
and tools as though they were cursed
fed him, cared for him, admired him
he became known as _Laurence le Muet_
a man of great empathy and quiet strength
he died surrounded by his loved ones
in a straw-stuffed bed in Rouen in 1759
he was ninety-two