today, the exhale was the hardest.
a trust fall in giving and taking —precious tears and shadowed fears, irrupted hopes and radical imaginings — into a world that cannot hold them gently.
where supple lungs now resist the inhale, constricting to protect me from inviting in a swirl of noxious fumes (engineered to smother epiphanous dreams and embolden all manner of delusion).
i can only manage a sip of air: a shallow 4-count laced with doubt that queries for fulfillment.
then comes the subtle pause. a fleeting moment to contemplate beginning again.
i tentatively measure my next release: 6 counts, loosening and softening toward relief.
the next pause, extended, to steady my racing heart and test the limits of suspension.
but i cannot sustain emptiness for long and concede to the will of change.
quaking. inevitable. relentless. burning and swelling into an elastic 8 beats of oxygen.
palm pressed to heart, i yield to the sending, taking, giving, getting, sharing, receiving, filtering and transmuting of sorrow and despair into joy and wonder —
a persistent rally for life-love-light.