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Still breathing,
being something you never were,
your grief is more a figure
than a cigarette
in one’s hand.
In the mode of a mineral,
a distant light,
a fading sound,
a black rose leaf
carried by the hairdryer
each morning,
since the moment when everything changed.
You like it less and less –
to breathe,
to make the colours sing.
Unpolished smile
as if from deep fatigue,
a charcoal grain.
“There is but one life”,
“all things are answers”,
“people are no magic”,
“there is nothing behind the tree”,
“books and thoughts just stand
between the floors and ceilings,
between us and nothing”,
“the longest sentence
is limited by page margins”.
Every noon is running with a bag
of rain or snow or stones.
They moved without flying –
the flock of black swans,
you saw them upside down
from your bed,
you dolphined in the empty aquarium
of your four walls –
still breathing,
you could track and trace
their still-motion
with the static compass of your heart.
The middle of the sky –
where is it?
The middle of the ocean
is not sometimes the water,
but light –
barely seen from the birds’ eye view
of your mansard,
not at all – when standing on the shore.

(Painting courtesy: Elly Simmons)