I Breathe

by Kristine Briese

I breathe.

Inhale, exhale.

Each inhalation
invades my nostrils,
spreads through my lungs,
expanding my chest like
an insistent gray balloon.

Inhale, exhale.

Between these
bursts of life, I am
plagued by your face,
haunted by your voice,
tormented by your touch.

Inhale, exhale.

Each exhalation flows out,
an inevitable current of
vitality, carrying with it
the cruel hope that the next
inhalation won't come.

But I breathe.


Posted on 06/25/2004
Copyright © 2022 Kristine Briese

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Lori Johnson on 06/25/04 at 05:42 PM

This speaks to me in painful honesty. As always, a brilliant work. :)

Posted by Anne Engelen on 06/25/04 at 07:20 PM

sadly painful! great poem!!

Posted by Ann Krischus on 06/25/04 at 11:39 PM

wow....this is full of emotion. a great piece.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 06/26/04 at 06:55 AM

Such an outpouring of pain here, but so simply expressed. Haven't we all been here at some point in our life? Good work!

Posted by Anne Howe on 03/01/05 at 12:36 PM

meditation under force is almost condemnable. meditation without a weight on one's head is truly liberating. you relate the former well and as always in appealing shape and form

Posted by Laura Doom on 05/31/07 at 12:23 AM

Adrift, but afloat.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 12/17/08 at 02:04 PM

As Lori wrote, so it is with me:

"This speaks to me in painful honesty."

And comes breathing in the back of my neck. Brilliant writing. ~Jill

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