The first shared breath at birth

The next shared breath in June

My parents have breath

and so do I

we locked up our breath

in a small trunk

we can hear it

everywhere in the house

everywhere breath is creaking

back and forth

as a ship

the breath

days tremble now

as if time is old

and is not limber

porches, driveways, stoops

now rooms

now parlors

looking at faces

looking for naked faces

looking for nose and mouth

that will suffocate me

another breath

can suffocate me

as the tally does:

up, up, steady

steady up, up, up

the breath keeps breathing

we who have seen a ventilator

push its work into tender lungs

my own face poison

my own hands threaten

hours of home lean delight,

lean despair,

tip to contentment, tip to when, when?

the ship, back and forth,

and far at sea.

Decisions build our boxes

boxes within which we are pitched

that way,

and that,

and seasickness becomes baseline.

Days are queasy

breaths are held

when we land

we sill will sway.



4 thoughts on “Breath

  1. I agree with Pratchi about the same line. You carried the theme of being breathless so deep into these lines that I actually clutched my throat. Your experience has obviously impacted you, and the world needs to see these poems you wrote that put us right there with you and the ventilator. Kudos!

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