In and Out

Take in oxygen

Take in the gorge’s green veil
the sky’s cerulean dome
the silvery white sliver of river

Accept what is offered:

What you need for breathing:
lungs intercostal muscles a diaphragm
comfortable pants

What breathes:
noses mouths skin
living things

Reasons why we breathe:
so we don’t die to embrace
the world to take in oxygen to
calm down to walk to run to fly
we don’t need a reason
our body will do it anyway

How to breathe in:
use your lungs
breathe deeply
through your nose
and mouth
with your diaphragm
as your abdomen extends
so does your
invitation to the world
to enter and fill you
with wonder and

Release carbon dioxide

Release worries
expel doubt

Reject what doesn’t provide energy:

What you don’t need:
someone telling you to
calm down and breathe

What doesn’t breathe:
that annoying race t-shirt
my mom
not since September 30, 200

Reasons why I can’t breathe:
too much humidity running too fast
a stuffed-up nose from inhaling
lake water
finding out my mom was dying from
stage 4 pancreatic cancer

How to breathe out:
your shoulders
let your body
do the work
of forcing the carbon dioxide out
let go
of your resistance to
grieving what you are losing
prepare for