circular breathing

there are only moments now
when illness is forgotten
when the woman i once was 
returns to my skin
and a trick of imagination
sees me sprint to the corner
in time for the light
hike the trail up cowles mountain

she is the phantom
this is my grief
this siren in the shadows
teasing dreams of muscles
warm and limber
stretching the truth of expectation
twisted recompense
late spring.

only she knows
how rest comes when sleep will not
how i follow my breath
its circular motion
draw stillness
from the hummingbird’s flight

how i stumble toward grace
offer prayers     give thanks
wait     for moments rich
with forgetting

• • • •

Published in The Comstock Review, Fall/Winter Awards Issue, 2002
Photo by Mark Olsen on Unsplash