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David Sapp



I marvel at each arrival

And release – each delectable feast

For breast my breath a martyrdom

A small miracle on each occasion

More astonishing than water into wine

Transubstantiation of body and blood

Or strolling over the Sea of Galilee


Is this breath this pastoral zephyr

The redolence of turned Ohio soil

In the spring any different than

The city’s breeze cheek pressed to concrete

I can’t breathe beneath the cop’s knee

The stale antediluvian air of the Old World

Or the tragic paleolithic dust of Africa


Wretched boats adrift on the Mediterranean

The breathless pressed and smothering?

Sometimes this breath is a fierce wind

Ragged gusts tearing at edges

Rarely a meek summer whisper

A balmy lulling to stupor rarely

The shallow rhythmic breath of monks


Occasionally when stars and planets

Align in a peculiar symmetry

Legs obligingly spread

All is flushed moist and pouting

There’s a rapid oblivious panting

An allegrissimo of huffing and puffing

Breathy ecstasy on the lips


Anymore my breath is more apt

To be a labored reluctant wheezing

A desperate gasping beneath the surface

A river baptism gone awry

The aim of enthusiastic evangelists

Though I refuse asphyxiating propagandas

My breath never a quota for redemption

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