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Breathe (Poem)

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Breathe.

Angled precisely through the cloudy sky,

morning light strikes the hills that push

sagebrush spines against it,

wheaten grass burnished copper,

then gold.

 

My wedding ring left a scab

around my finger.

 

Dew, wet on the window

Misty fog

Twenty miles to Wapato

Three hundred from Bellingham

And just as many to Chewelah, still pulling me back

 

Back to that tangle-haired girl

Locked tight in a dome of polished aluminum

Wide enough for me

And only me

Scratching at the doors until my fingernails bled

 

The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows

But how can I teach when

Even now

I can't turn the corner without meeting

my own swollen and distorted reflection?

 

Locked away, hid away

Bound with my own scarf

A needle in my teeth so I can pick

Through the memories

Pick through the dreams

Pick the lock and stumble to

The hills of Yakima

 

Still breathing.

Listen.

This wonderful sound will draw you back

 

To the future

And the present

And the past

 

To the man you love

And the house you are learning to build

Out of windows

 

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