Breathing in Reverse

Exhale, not the black spirits stuck
under sheets, but denial  they were there,

pushing pressure through skin
since the start. Recycling air is never

intentional, but what else can we gulp
besides lust from too long ago to keep

us trying? Yearning for a second wind
to sweep flames higher, doesn’t:

once a vision takes hold, it runs like a fever
despite our best efforts to cure… Inhalation

of a harsher smoke, unfurl as ghosts
crawling  through the space between us.

Miles of dust from ground earth filters
through our lungs, settles over respiratory

systems that no longer matter now that we’re
standing at opposite ends of a made-up world.

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