The breath takes sticky hold in my throat,
like something small and hot living there.
Must breathe out to keep stepping,
need that flow of oxygen and other gases
for moments to tick by and to make it
to night, to make it to sunrise, to make it
to night again. And then another sunrise.
But could I hold that fiery, tiny thing--
keep it lodged in place radiating
my innards with its reminder of
the short and sweet and what burns.
In the cradling I might ignite from inside,
but would it be blazing and would it hurt just right
and would I finally remember dying in there.
Or would the last scraps of playing it back wake me,
and I'd fall and scrape my face on the pavement,
embarrassed and caught holding on too long again,
and forced back to the old breathing.
The questions and the diaphragm ache and
are too much invisibility, pulsing, themselves.
The debate on breathing is natural
as once was the breathing itself.
But I exhale and let the holding of it die hard
and the hot curl scrapes as it leaves.