Breathe

by John Stocks


This is breath
It slips from the water body
Temporal innocent
Of the sole witness
The voyeur as you sleep.

Once there was a first, desperate
Reflex plunge for air
A surge to life.

Then
A constancy of breath
An equilibrium
Always the unconscious afterthought
Stealthy as a daydream.

Others followed
Tremulous
With lust or love —
The fluttering chest
And heaving breasts
Difficult to disguise.

And then of course
Though, I hesitate to think of it,
Somewhere along the line
(Waiting patiently in the spatial wings of time)
The last breath;
A universe of last breaths
Each kin to its own death
Each as poignant as the last.


Copyright © 2009 by John Stocks

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