Poetry: “Slow Burn”

Slow Burn


I was baptized by the air this morning, a cold winter

awaits me to inhale and

burn quietly the oxygen it wraps around My collarbone

was bird wings, was hollow and yet held me in a free fall



Do you taste me in the back of your throat on frost mornings?

Quiet and muffled in ice and the undead crystallized, I’d tell you

what to expect of me Except

when I try to hold myself into a body

I’m reminded I am haunted

I contain multitudes who are not quite

myself, who are not fully flesh, who you may have met,

or more likely you have heard whispering

between my heartbeats, when you lay your head on my chest and

I inhale

it burns, you tell me

you can hear the ash falling between my ribs


and I remind us that a raspy breath means I am alive,

I breathe deeper when it hurts and I burn What I breathe in

becomes ash and from ash

a sapling curls out of my sternum.


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