Deep Breaths [audio + chapbook]

Deep Breaths

< A Triptych >


It’s more than just a metaphor

when there’s nothing we can do

to make it stop…


+ Deep Breaths 1.




A friend once told me that the actual process of what we

call “aging” is the oxidization of our bodies.

The very oxygen that keeps us alive, minute by minute, is

the mechanism for our death. It seems bizarre at first, and

then strangely comforting: we are ushered into ashes by our

slow burn of breath.

Life itself is potent.

Take in life, Breath out decay;

Let out your life force, Breathe in your end.

Time will force this life from your body in sighs –

Gasp, Speak;

and your every word will call you further forward

toward that low stone wall

that separates this world from the next

+ Deep Breaths 2


– pause –


It’s a mysterious thing,

to lay beside someone.

Right arm extends, left curls around waist

Chest pressed against shoulder blades, collarbone to spine

Because when the racing blood and electric fingertips subside,

We are left with only these breaths: constant, unavoidable.

Unconcerned with posturing and flattery, they have no agenda;

a glimpse behind the curtain, blinded, sitting at the table at the end of the world,

our ankles plunging into deep loams to soak up groundwater, fed mouth

to mouth by ancient birds with blazing feathers, inseparable from it all.

Breathe in deeply, long exhale.

Almost imperceptible in the early morning.

And then, we come to this: the body and the earth, inextricable.

Intertwined like roots in soil and oil in hair,

like irises, calves, tendrils and vines,

like tree trunks and kneecaps, rough bark and cheekbones and skin tones

Never quite outrunning our own lungs, Falling into our own dreams,

Collapsing, sinking to the very depths of blackness, our subconscious


Little death, so near to sleep.

+ Deep Breaths 3




Confession: my breathing is as shallow as my listening.

Sometimes I don’t notice when you’re not being honest.

My breathing is as shallow as my learning

round peg, square hole, ad infinitum.

My breathing is as shallow as my apology

cozy in my perspective , lonely in pride.

And then, my breathing slows, in this cocoon of leisure, this suspension of the reality of pain,

the fabrication of dim lighting 24/7 and angular surface; This one room.
Finding |/\|\| so |\\//| much \\\\| static.

Confession: my breathing is as deep as my longing, for simplicity and silence

My breathing as deep as Persephone’s prison

My breathing is only as deep as the tip of the iceberg of the wounding of the world

My breathing is as deep as the baritone of midnight.

My breathing is as deep as the bonds of my bloodline,

A Marianas Trench of promise running through my veins.

My breathing is in my nature.

My breathing is imitative of Nature.

My breathing is the reversal of vegetative chemical transformation

My breathing is mammalian digestion.

My breathing is a strange animal.

My breathing is rhythmic, cyclical.

My breathing is moon, heartbeat, Adam, fire, wind,

magic, Yahweh, cloud, machine, spirit, moment.

Confession: Breathing is inefficient.

Breathing is slowly killing me.

Our breathing is a mindless celebration.

Only keeping me alive…






Audio Version: Deep Breaths – Birds of Cray

Download Chapbook PDF: BOOKLET Deep Breaths-Triptych
[The page order is designed so that if you print double-sided, the three pages will fold into a booklet, with the three poems in the proper order 🙂 CRAFT IT, Y’ALL.]


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