I Would Give My Breathe For You

December 5, 2011
I would give my breathe for you
and your childish songs
80 and clumsy on piano
Keys like smiling teeth
Under your knobbly fingers

I would give my lungs
for your abrupt cruelty that
you think makes you seem strong.
I would give my eyes
For your quavery kindness
That you think makes you so vulnerable.
I am young and sparkling strong
And you fear my sharp laughter
You laughed at the old, when you were
New like me. But I could never hurt you.

I would give every finger for the
Silly cards you send, with Snoopy
And funny faces. I would give every toe
For each of the 10 paper flowers,
Red, yellow, blue, that you taught me
How to fold.

I would give my heart
For dog-eared sepia photos
Of you squinting in the sun,
Laughing in the surf,
Biting your nails on your wedding day.

And when you cry
Here, in this flat hard hospital
Delicate purple veins punctured
Tubes bringing you oxygen
Machines beeping out the end of days,
And tell me you are afraid to die, and ask me to
Sing, or tell you a story
Then I would give my life for you
So you could be new and strong and beautiful;
Would die so you could be reborn
Sobbing cheerfully
With a pumping, cherry-red heart.





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