Mercy Invincibility

by Vidyan Ravinthiran

We’re playing Super Mario. This level’s
designed for one player and not two.
The quick-collapsing platforms mean one always falls.
But when he hits the spikes he starts to flash.
The plumber turns invincible as a firewalker.
A chance to extricate oneself. How often
have our lives known that brief
immunity – the crisis which emits
a stretch of ardent unreflective life?
It’s afterwards that hurts. Time salts all wounds.
You come to realise: that really happened.
But first there’s a quick flick of the stick
as you leap my glimmering sprite between the spikes
and urge me onwards through a wall of fire.