Monday, December 8, 2008

The Composition of the Air I Breathe

There is no substitute for oxygen
but the warmth of your breath
makes me almost wish to suffocate
on carbon dioxide and kisses.

I don't mean to die, but to push
my lungs to their limit, to fall
into you until I am gasping
and terrified and alive.

Suicide doesn't interest me.
Living is the true challenge,
to keep running, breath after
freezing breath, icy December air

clouding in front of me, eyes
tearing, watching my feet
so snow does not get the better
of my balance. I struggle to hold

myself upright in my mother's eyes.
She prays for me every night
as I lie in your arms and she fears
we're on our way to hell. Of love

she knows nothing, claims words
from the original Hebrew or Greek
condemn me. If you wish
to understand me, you must understand

her as well. She is resigned to sorrow,
a dutiful wife, a grieving mother,
blaming herself, praying for my soul
and for His forgiveness for sins

no one has committed. I love her.
I love you. I place my heart like my feet
carefully on a slippery path, sunlight
glints off ice, off your beauty, off the tears

that come unbidden when you hold me.
It always comes down to this:
I can not change who I am,
I can not change where I came from.

No comments: