You Can Breathe

By Michael Sindler


you can breathe

                        even here

the exhaust fumes

            may sting your eyes

                    congest your lungs

                    cover your limbs with

              a fine grey mist that sticks

                 and makes you seem a minstrel

        caught up in its tiny funneled mistral...

                             a wind that blows black

              the worst of locomotions  

                   constant burst

                             of moving waste

                                         of haste

                   constantly in pursuit

                                   in chase

        of illusionary gemstones


                            millstones and

                            meatless bones.


you can breathe 


                        the urine scent

                        of squalor

     where humans sleep

               against walls

    pinning themselves

                       in corners

          wrapped in well-worn blankets

                       or cardboard chrysalises

          bursting out daily

                       into changed forms...

          not recognized or realized

           as different than the pupae

                       they evolved from.

they breathe

                    opening to the day

         no matter how cruel

                     or how much still the fool

                     or wise and wizened creatures

                         they are taken for

          Loved and abused

      nurtured and used


              and self-healing




      to the




                      locomoting past

                           leaving exhaust

                            on the exhausted

                           without braking

                            for the broken...

          without stopping to receive

                     the grace of healing

                                    of touching

                                        looking deep

   into a wrinkled face with compassion. 


you can breathe here

                                deeply inhaling

                                    and exhaling

                    with or without complaining

                     being silent or exclaiming

                                 joy or pain

           and allowing breath to come again

                                           to come and be

                                                        again and again.