exercises in breathing
knowing the rules is not enough. when it snows,
it doesn’t always mean it. when it snows, sometimes
it snows for the museums and sometimes it snows
for the papers and sometimes it snows for only
her majesty, the sea.
following the rules is not enough. when he breathes—
remember this one please—when he breathes he breathes
for himself. when he breathes he doesn’t breathe for her or
for you or for his son or for his future sons, when he breathes,
he breathes for how it feels to be standing
in the public gardens knee-deep in snow, smoking
a cigarette and watching the statues still and cold
and unbreathing and having it mean something.
breaking the rules is not enough. the sea is his mother.
the sea gives back in fish. the sea tells you: this
is what your voice sounds like. the sea reminds you to breathe.
the sea, the sea. she knows the rules are never enough.