the art of breathing deeply (20170111)

you take a deep breath
outside after the rain
realize how much better off
you are
not breathing that
recirculated air
from your colleagues
with their
i-swear-i’m-not-contagious
phlegmy brachial spasms

but out here
the closest people
are a couple of high school girls
a football field away
that smell like candy
when they pass
and they could give a shit
about the wheels turning
in your head

so the thought settles in
we are all stardust
not in a magical
we’re-all-special-snowflakes way
or even a
my-god-we’re-so-insignificant way
but just this just this
just
this
you could be breathing
in an atom of air
once breathed out
by abraham lincoln
hammurabi or adolph hitler

even the heavy panting of
some prehistoric saber-toothed cat
looking to make a meal out of the
hominids

we are all complicit in that
decay and triumph and violence
who needs little crackers
and plastic shot glasses
of grape juice to claim communion
we are all breathing it in
good and bad
but jesus
what are we adding to the atmosphere

10 thoughts on “the art of breathing deeply (20170111)

  1. Do you think some things we breathe in, don’t get breathed out? Maybe within some of us, there are microcosmic specks of Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, or even Ted Bundy! Fascinating to ponder. I’ve read about the atoms of the dead circulating around and through us all the time. I was happy you addressed such intriguing topics!

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