Mid breath. Father spins as a white and khaki pinwheel on a black marbled floor. His hands plunge into his thirty-six-year-old chest. I digress. Grandma exhales in an olive-green tank. She drowns before her oxygen-filled spouse. I regress. Mom’s dad suffocates awake. His bubble-wrapped lungs pop like guns. I congest. Mom has her lungs cut in half to remove the fifty-eight years of smoking old ash. I bless. Aunt Louise wheezes like a leafless-tree in a breeze. Her branches clack. I fast. Her husband, Uncle John, childless lifelong, lays four days on a floor. Definitely not the D-Day he fought for in the war. Pneumonia makes him no more. I wrest. Dad’s mom lived 96 years. Now she’s oblong. I dress. Her high school life mate, cancer bleached him straight to fate. Checkmate… I confess the family crest. Inner-tubing as teenagers, Duane saved me on the Snoqualmie River before we ate a summer dinner. Dead at thirty-three. Eric, boy he could sing. Died at nineteen. Jason, a black-belt karate friend. Rode his motorcycle at twenty and is suddenly dead. Now, my eldest brother Howard, the ‘noble watchman,’ wheezing and breathing, in a bed. He’s nearly dead: fifty-eight years old. I stress. My other brother, Tom, fifty-five, with lungs like a sewage pump, looks to lock death’s door. My quest: If exhaling is life and inhaling is death; is peace somewhere between?
So you’re not the Anadyomene — suck it up!
Too much pudica peek-a-boo
we knew you were trouble, in the pits of our stomachs,
or maybe lower…
i wish for inspiration to grip memuch like desperate lovers’ frustration fraught hands. like a flickering flame,blossoming within a dusty, discarded fireplace;creating a benevolent warmth on a harsh midwinter’s eve. how grand it would be to be taken with innovation,tangled…