One must remember to breathe because
it’s not involuntary. Twist in the blue roots
and shake them off.

Don’t stop digging. The moment both hands
aren’t shovels, the world closes up like a peephole.
You can’t see the other side, don’t hear what they’re saying.
Water washes their white faces beige, barely remembered,
the brush strokes painting you

into a room. Everything’s heavy. The way a child walks
with his father’s shoes, heavy and vague,
when the floor sinks. You’re not tall enough
to reach for the door. But that’s a lie.
There is no door. Little difference between oceans
open and shut, the arm reaching into it
and the arm reaching up.

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