Hermetic

by Ernest Armah

My air has been stolen by my breath
I suffocate and gasp after the thief
While it spirals away like smoke from a chimney
I wish it was that crispy for me to grasp

Things have been lost to the wind
Though some were willfully thrown
Not away but for dispersal into the world
Like a seed

Planted not in soil
Rather in the deepest crust of hearts
Soulfully? Dejectedly? Apathetically?
Who cares?

If my breath could steal my air
To fete other breaths
What else could it be than a benevolent thief
Dearth of one, breath of many

Impulsive yearning to catch meaning
Yet if contours were straight no one would have respected the map
That’s why we zig air only to zag it later
Breathe in, breathe out in no straight line

Though we never really own anything
Expected it is that we live something
Behind what we’ve lived
In front of what we’re yet to live

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