All that I can think of is the cyclist who met his fate in the form of a heedless taxi last night on Vesey St.
No thoughts to label,
Just an image of an IV tube dripping clear liquid into his lifeless body, and a cluster of emotions.
My next exhalation is a prayer for our impermanence.
Rest in peace.
Happiness must lie somewhere beyond my next breath.
Wanting it, I reach too far.
Holding it, I grasp too hard and it slips through my fingers as ephemeral as a thought.
My inhalation suggests an alternate path: receive, circulate, give back.
My mind is flooded with images of loved ones living the half-life of illness:
Crazy Dewey coughing on the stoop that is now his home;
Robert Sisco whose body is riddled with weird diseases brought on by AIDs;
And Keith Cotter whose lungs have been destroyed by 200,000 cigarettes and the filthy air of the steel mill where he worked for so many years.
What they would give to have what I cannot share and one day will lose.
I inhale deeply because I can and exhale a prayer of thanks.
Life begins with an inhalation.
Life ends with an exhalation.
Too many breaths in between are gasps [and sighs]:
Our life force can be constricted in so many ways,
By awkwardness, fear and even by a sleeping foot.
I come back to my breath though it was never gone.
It was my mind that wandered.
I silently fidget and once again try to find my seat.