sip / breath when the room fills with smoke we punch our metal straws through the wall. punctur paper to drink clean air. the last tree works hard for us. toiling in the smog with its arms full of groceries. the geese fall from the sky mid-migration as kazoos. all we want is a sip. because bedroom bowls. because harpsicord & a sibling riding the chariot home too late from the empty mall. five dollars on the ground dirty from grit & grease. use the straw to scrape the layer of ice from our sisters foreheads. five in the freezer waiting for good use. i need another backup plan-- i spent too many trying to find you in the murk. i traded my lungs for tulip bulbs. collected feathers for salad. we clutch our straws. some try to drink dirt. tell stories that the whole earth is full of a great round whirl of air. some dig in their yard for it. hole after hole. trying to reach a huge inhale. they find nothing but stone & sometimes an antique bicycle & once the corpse of a deer. no luck at all. i watch them but i don't believe in the air-earth theory. it's more likely we're just the last of a last & we are searching for a myth to save us. for breakfast we serve air in tall ornate glasses. i swallow slow as i can knowing there will be no more till night. i can never tell if i really want a lover or if i just want to put my mouth to their & for a moment glimpse their air. the wood peckers turn to light switches. my neighbor thinks he's hit air but nom he crouches, it's just a birthday balloon. lifts the carcass from the soil. i hold my straw & press it through the wall of my room. close my eyes as i breathe in.