Breathing Exercises

640px-Chidambaram-Natarajar-Temple-6

Breathe in, breathe out.

I am strong.

I am a galaxy of electric nerves that have snapped and lost their tethers to the flickering sun; I criss-cross in mauve, I spin like a drunk bee in green, I fade to a whisper, I scream

in a hellish fireball at

random intervals, but there is no telescope that can observe the mass star death inside of me.

inspire,

expire.

i am beautiful.

i am sweating beautifully atop this frosting mountain’s climax. we’re standing on a vanilla cake laced with garden shivers, encased in a pink petticoat. i am the bungee jumper primed to go; the cherries are rocks that slip into black oblivion with each

wrong step. i run faster. there is only so much summit, but I can’t

stop,

breathe in, breathe

out. i

breathe in, respire.

i am fine –

there were 7 billion grains of rice

sliding from one side of the uncooked bowl to the other like Noah’s ark quaking under God’s drenched skirt but i didn’t know how to hold on in my brain

to which fine grain was which and which was me. the tour guide didn’t notice

i was still in the atrium beneath their paper shadows, folding

out the dark doorway. Now

Memories shoot

through me like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s tubing – stuck-

for a moment, I’m drowning in chocolate and buried alive in skin – whoosh! Out

with the old, in with the new. (Chocolate crawls along my arm hairs.)

Breathe. Just breathe.

In, out.

In, out.

I am wonderful,

It was told to me once

between watercolor rainbows we ripped and stuffed down the trash compactor’s gurgling throat; but i couldn’t be wonderful in the way of this megacity

flourishing in my head: dream-traffickers zipping yellow shards across the black –

blue ice carts crackling down the street throwing gelato bombs at churches and brothels and –

cones crunching, children bending to drink between the carnage, vanilla and strawberry cream puddles on the blacktop, poisoned with forgotten liquid dinosaurs in clover

rainbow

ribbons.

ribs popping

heart steering

mouth slurring

feet stopping, re-

starting

rain storming down the stairs ahead like a waterslide I descend alone.

Close your eyes and

hold your breath

until you’ve drowned the wonders and the world

is left, always out the window and to come

later, when you have mastered

your

inspirations and expirations.

640px-Chidambaram-Natarajar-Temple-5

Image credits in order of appearance:

By Destination8infinity – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49070234

By Destination8infinity – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49070232

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