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Konstantin Rega

After Breath

The house is deserted now
save for the thin films
of dust
and shadows of days’ past
starting to run like a dark stream
upon the wooden floors
(and, oh, a corpse).

The moon has fallen.
The light is thick,
and it shines deep and sultry
on peelings walls. Darkness
clusters amongst the furniture—
intersecting against the pale fire
of the quickly awakening sky—
still as the dead
moths lying on winged-sides.

Farther away,
where drifting moths still remain unchanged,
the shadows
give way, yielding ground
to buoyant, more docile entities.
Wayward memories,
with secret whispers and
a seethe of pain,
to an ancient world
they go. Before the new
day, the moths have gone,
wings spreading a membrane
of dust throughout
the house; they float,
they float away. Memories
come to claim
the empty rooms filled
with an old autumn’s light—
still held outside.

Through the dust,
the dreams and recollections
come. I see them
out a warped window;
the glass groans
with the weight of
and pieces of pane
slowly fall to the ground
below in a silvery powder
as fine as dry ash.

My sister waves to me,
then she walks,
trailing a rope,
between mother and father—
both haven’t turned 
to face me. My feet
carry me to the door,
out of the paralyzed past.
I glide,
my body left behind:
it only a piece of paper
kept too long. However,
I am
still not able to catch up
to my parents,
to my sister.

It is only she
who looks back
at me, albeit almost in jest—
to see if I am still there,
still trying to reach them.

Always trying to reach them.

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