Poem: Suck in my Breath.

With every little step there is regret-

Forgetfulness, unscrupulous deeds, dead like weeds-

Near the riverside by the young man’s bride,

Near the ocean tide on a cliff I long to fall off and dive;

I suck in my breath, and hold tight.


When the mail comes and the sender is alarming-

Charming, or whimsical, or miserable, and I must respond,

Yet long for silence, long for virulent ignorance-

Of the sender, I suck in my breath and write the letter.


On days where the TV flashes blank holographs at me-

And I pretend to be inside the scene-

Faded jeans fall into the cinematic pretense of the screen;

I fall into bed, decrepit and run down, nothing left;

I suck in my breath.


They may lead me up to Calvary and give me a cross;

They may give me up to group homes or a racy boss;

I may be given up to scholars, authors, or men of duress-

I do my best;

I suck in my breath.


When you see me on the news tonight-

Or dying in nature’s plight;

Who knows where I will be tonight, and by whose side-

Wherever I shall reside, even beside my worst enemy-

I shall give true testimony with what I have kept;

The secrets unwind in me.

I suck in my breath.

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