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Topic: She Isn't Breathing

by Melina Raven Maness Diebold

Outside the panorama of neon lights

and zigzag automobiles

"We're all robots" he says

and she isn't breathing-


The rejection in his words

forms fog in the air

with a little help from the cold

"I can't change the subject" he says

and she isn't breathing


Pragmatic dogma publicized

on billboards and bus-sides

are all the proof he needs

"Can't you see, you're not for me..." he says

and she isn't breathing


Left alone in a flannel shirt

and cargo pants without no shoes

she stretches out her feet

rubs the pavement with her socks

so that the cotton catches

"Are you listening?" he says

and she isn't breathing


He walks down the sidewalk

towards his next chapter

turning the page, smearing the ink

his footfalls racing to the ground

to beat her tears to the fall

"Goodbye" he says

and she isn't breathing..


Author's Note: topic thread, topic by Marin Kinsley

Posted on 01/18/2005
Copyright © 2022 Melina Raven Maness Diebold

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Shonda Creemer on 01/19/05 at 01:59 AM

this took my breath away and filled me with forgotten memories of my past ~ love this one Melina

Posted by Kyle Anne Kish on 01/19/05 at 05:04 AM

"The rejection in his words form fog in the air with a little help from the cold" <--- I always seem to have favorite lines in a poem that just see to "hit" me. These did it. Very sad and the title worked beautifully for this piece.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 01/19/05 at 05:36 AM

Excellent, sad, wonderfully expressed. Like Kyle Anne, the first line grabbed me! Great work, Mina!

Posted by Maureen Glaude on 01/19/05 at 06:36 AM

haunting in authenticity and pathos. Who of us hasn't had this experience? But it feels unique and utterly tragic when it happens to us.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/26/13 at 02:41 PM

Terrific POTD! There are some subtle bits to this that are a cut above - who would talk about cotton socks rubbing and catching on pavement! That last stanza is like a water color in progress. Thanks for this.

Posted by James Cavet on 05/27/13 at 02:41 AM

this poem had a bit of a sinister meaning to me. I felt the "she isn't breathing" line meant someone lying on the sidewalk, unable to breathe, while others passed by in their lives, not paying attention at all. completely different, I think, from what was intended, but it was the first thing that came to mind. very good though.

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