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. 

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