Vol 9, Num 19 :: 2010.10.22 — 2010.11.04
The lungs of a fully formed fetus
practice breathing, an act
that’s merely a mechanical construction
of heart beats, lung pumps, and water
preparing the body for real life.
Then we remember, by force or by nature,
that bodies and spirits grow
and shatter; the living are left
to make life of the pieces we can’t
entirely sweep up.
In my dreams, I can breath water
in through my mouth, holding my tongue
just right to siphon off the air,
expelling the waste through my nose.
I have yet to drown in my dreams,
but often wake with a gasp.
It’s likely quiet now
that the mid-summer squall
and the friends sharing memories
are drying up. A mountain forest
doesn’t stoop and pick up the fallen,
though the timber weighs and deforms
the life story of the load-bearing tree.
So the pine beetle of pain
bores her nest, lays her eggs, and waits.
They ask us how we’re doing
because our hollow look
is begging (sweet Jesus) for mercy.
Then they feel guilty and don’t ask anymore
and the black beetle keeps boring.
Throw open the windows and breathe
in the rain (they say it’s the dirt we smell,
but who gives a damn about that?)—
let the curtains rise and fall,
feel the mist of broken
water through the window screen.
In the early morning
the grass is too wet to cut
and the mower’s out of gas anyways.
Stand with me in the driveway
as the sun rises, ever so slowly.