Vapor

This body’s breath
caught sharp and held
I hold it and like water
it escapes my fingers and spills
over my toes
when I am thirsty
asking too much from my body
when I am not enough
I give it tea and fruit and poisonsblack-dark-lost-people-Favim.com-1975137
I exhale the fumes of the vices
herbal or smoky and fine
licking at these wet fingers
that let a pen scratch
let a word be plucked
from a curl of steam
this body’s breath
will learn it can’t hold what is borrowed
and maybe then stop
cupping and drinking
hold and take nothing
it’s enough just to breathe
let the vices unthread from the seams
of the spine into origami wings
taking flight in paper vees
and leave me in the water
enough

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Comments

  1. I find myself too frequently wishing I were less vicious, and I wonder whether most people ever consider their habits to be vices–and wonder what purposes they’re serving in their lives. I like the idea of breathing your vices out in smoke, like giving it away to the gods (the way smoke and incense has always been used to carry messages to the gods). Let me breathe my vices out to you, let me empty myself of them, so that I can be grateful simply for the breath that you breathed into me.

    Thanks for this one, Amy!

    Like

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